from Awareness by Anthony De Mello . . . 

Ask yourself this: How would it be if God gave me the grace not to call anything mine? You’d be detached, wouldn’t you? You’d be dis-identified from things. That’s what it means to lose the self, to deny the self, to die to self.

I’ve got different themes, but they are all about the same thing. Call it awareness, call it love, call it spirituality or freedom or awakening or whatever. It really is the same thing. It’s dis-identifying, which s simply a matter of watching everything inside of you and outside, and when there is something happening to you, to see it as if it were happening to someone else, with no comment, no judgment, no attitude, no interference, no attempt to change, only to understand. As you do this, you’ll begin to realize that increasingly you are dis-identifying from “me”, from your ego.

Saint Teresa of Avila says that toward the end of her life God gave her an extraordinary grace. It was the ability to dis-identify from herself. It boils down to this: If someone else has cancer and I don’t know the person, I’m not all that affected. If I had love and sensitivity, maybe I’d help, but I’m not emotionally affected. If you have an examination to take, I’m not all that affected. I can be quite philosophical about it and I might say, “Well, the more you worry about it, the worse it’ll get. Why not just take a break instead of studying?”

But when it’s my turn to have an examination, well, that’s something else, isn’t it? The reason is that I’ve identified with “me”—with my family, my country, my possessions, my body, my atachments, my reputation . . . in short, with me.

So once again, ask yourself this: How would it be if God gave me grace not to call these things mine? I’d be detached; I’d be dis-identified. That’s what it means to lose the self., to lose the me.