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Losing Myself

IT’S the title of one of the songs on the Great Deep. In actual fact, it didn’t start off resembling an Eminem lyric – although I do like Eminem. Initially the title of this song was “Die To Myself”.

For the sake of context, here are the lyrics:

It’s just the hardest thing to do right now
Let go of the “why?” and “how?”
And give it all, give it all to you
I know that there’s a season
And in time I’ll see the reason
But oh this fickle heart just won’t heed what it needs to

I’m losing myself…

Once upon a time I pursued selfish pleasures
Now I find I have just one endeavor
And that is to please you, just you
I’m made brand new in everything that I do
As I lose myself in the moment with you
I find there’s some same old things that I don’t want to do
This life is overwhelming ‘til I cried out for help
And yes I lived reality until I lost myself
I confess

I’ve got a lot of things on my mind
Cause there is something I have yet to find
Something that, something that’s beyond here
How do I die to myself?
When everyone says I must be true to myself?
And all that I, all that I hold dear

Fades away… (I’m losing myself)

I eagerly expect that I won’t be ashamed
I’m not here to chase all of the money and fame
Put a fire in me that can’t be contained
For me to live is Christ and to die is to gain
I’m giving it up tho I thought I had enough
I’m made brand new and my heart is only for you
So we’re here to stick it out cause the world needs to see:
Alive we’re Christ’s messengers but dead we’re his bounty

For some, the sentiment “die to myself” makes no sense. Just think about it… how does one die “to” oneself? And why would you want to? It’s like some weird split personality disorder going on… or something.

In actual fact, it’s a lyric paraphrased from the bible, in which Paul says in Galatians 5:24: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”

Which basically means, you’ve given up your own agenda.

So whether a person is a believer or not, I’ve long considered marriage and parenting to be in line with this idea. A sober assessment of a healthy family will show you that there’s been lots of sacrifice, lots of forgiveness and lots of serving each others’ needs, rather than one’s own. You basically kiss your life away, and you embrace the new life of sacrificing your own desires and needs for those of your spouse and/or kids. What they need and want comes before what you need and want.

I think about the big picture a lot. I also try and be mindful of my own family in the context of that big picture. There’s a lot to celebrate in the world, but there’s also a lot that needs fixing. Let’s face it – none of us are perfect. (Except my wife, of course.) And so in a non-perfect world, I suppose this song is asking questions of the heart, of giving more than taking, of believing in the “something that’s beyond here”, as the song says.

“When a newspaper posed the question, What’s Wrong with the World? the Catholic thinker G. K. Chesterton reputedly wrote a brief letter in response: ‘Dear Sirs: I am. Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton.’

The song is also an echo of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:39 where he says: “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake will find it.”

My experience with this has been that we start to appear different, on the inside and the outside. Our demeanour changes. We ask more questions about someone else rather than blurt out our own ideas. We listen more than we speak. When our hearts go through this process of surrender, our behaviour changes, our faces change and we are re-made.

In 1987, the New York Times reported on a study in which supported the old belief that married couples eventually begin to look alike.

Couples who originally bore no particular resemblance to each other when first married had, after 25 years of marriage, come to resemble each other, although the resemblance may be subtle, according to a new research report. Moreover, the more marital happiness a couple reported, the greater their increase in facial resemblance.

Daniel Goleman, New York Times.

Research indicates that over time, married couples begin to look alike because they share emotions so often that they experience the same “subtle shifts in facial wrinkles and other facial contours.” In other words, laughing at the same TV shows; furrowing your brow at the same rambunctious kid; smiling at the same in-jokes…

And I’m sure it’s not just me that thinks there’s something so beautiful in that.

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