We turn our focus outward on Christ. When we lose ourselves we find ourselves. In Christ we have eternal significance and worth. Becoming nothing means we lose our self consciousness. Our self-conscious fears and shame disappear when we turn our focus outward into the present moment. Psychologists call it flow, athletes call it being in the zone. Here’s how CS Lewis describes it:
In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison - you do not know God at all ~~ Mere Christianity, page 124
The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself all together or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.
~~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 125
We find our true inner self “new self” by turning outward not inward. We despise the demon self and turn away from it towards God. This is repentance. We turn our focused attention off of self and on to God and others. When we lose our selves we find ourselves. Everything balances out. We love God above all else and our neighbor as our self. (true self). This is when we find a proper self esteem. Beholding the glory of Christ we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory. We find our inner self but this isn’t our focus. God is. We are transformed when we concentrate our focus and attention on Christ. Here’s how C.S. Lewis put it:
There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints. ~~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 226
Here Lewis captures the paradox of self-forgetfulness. By turning our focus outwards towards Christ we become our truest selves. We die to self and are resurrected. God wants us to become the creations he intended all along. Valuable, dignified, good, reflections of Christ. We love (take care of) our true self.
When we lose ourselves and turn our focus towards Christ (present moment faith) we fall in love. We become the Bride of Christ as we fall in love with our inner child. When we are lost in the now we fall in love. We take care of ourselves but this isn’t the focus. Christ is.