I finished the book "everyday enlightenment" by Sally Bongers yesterday. It is about enlightenment of "ordinary" people.
One man used a metaphor that tells me a lot. I hope the following quote makes sense even though it is out of context. The quote can be found on page 64 of the above mentioned book. The quote is how it is when being identified with the self:
"It's a bit like a closed fist. You can identify with that sort of contracted state, which is the self, or you can just open your hand, let go of it."