My good friend, Janet Weir, asked me to explain the phrase "Die to self" in my poem "I Fly With You". Here's my response.
Die to self means you stop thinking about yourself and your problems and think about others' needs, putting those people first. Night, sin, darkness, evil, distress, fear are all bad for you. Remember when there was only darkness in the world? Then the Light came (beginning of Genesis and Gospel of John). Jesus is the light. Dawn, sun, Son, first are all positive and full of God qualities. The temptation is to put yourself before Him and what He asks us to do for Him.
My song "Nicky and the Blind Man" shows the dark and light, also. The Shekinah Glory is what Moses saw, turned from, and had shining all over him.
The Gospel of John is full of light/darkness, love/hate. Nicky (John 3:1) went to Jesus at night - in sin, in secret because he didn't want anyone to know he was starting to believe in Jesus. John 19:39 has Nicky taking 100 pounds of spices to bury Jesus. Very much like the Egyptians did to hide the smell and to keep the cloths together. They had only three hours to carry, place, pour and rub the oil, wrap, etc. before sundown. It was Sabbath and no one could walk, cook, do anything until Sunday morning. Amazing.
When I first went to prayer group, I found out my mom had a brain tumor and I was really upset the Lord could do that to me! Later as we were lifting up people who needed prayer, someone mentioned a 3-year-old boy who had a brain tumor. I said, "Ok Lord at least I've had my mom for 50 years and she's done a lot of good for others." This is a classic example of stop thinking of yourself and focus on others.
Janet, does that shed any light? You do this often in putting aside the problems you have and finding positive things to share in your emails.