A while back I was expressing to a friend by email how I've been very well exposed to the teaching of the crucified life, from very good sources, in the past, that I had heard plenty of the "death to self" message. And that was true not only from my reading, but also from messages and teachings I heard, even if it was more in the way I heard it than what was actually taught.
My friend replied that they didn't see it as death to self, but as life, a new life, life to God. That really kind of hit me as a needed word for me. Maybe by temperament and experience, I looked at things mostly negatively over the years. This outlook, I'm afraid impacted my entire life. But this new life in Christ, while not one of "Everything is great!" or "I'm okay; you're okay," is one much better. We're given, by faith in Christ a brand new life and existence that has no part with the old life, leaving it behind, but in doing so finding the real life, and that life in actually everything and everyone, in Jesus.
C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce is awakening me to this truth in Jesus. I had read it for school years ago, but recently saw it at our public library read on CD, well done. And got a new copy of the book to replace my underlined, over marked copy. It is a most remarkable read, and if you can get hold of both, it would be good.
It helps us see how this life in Christ is to begin even now, as a life in leaving the old "in Adam" existence behind, and embracing the new life "in Christ." In Jesus, God makes all things new, beginning even here and now in our hearts and out from that into our lives, and through our lives for others.
I am learning on this, and still working on the book by Lewis. Heard it once and want to keep working on it for a time. Pick it up and read.