The Camino through song: I’m Free

You may not realize it, but I’ve been writing about these songs in the same order that they popped up along the Way.

I’m Free has been one of my favorites for a long time. Secada’s career (as far as I know) has come and gone, but this song will always be one of the anthems of my life. It reminds me that I can always choose to be bummed out by difficulties — but more importantly I can also choose gratitude, love, and joy instead.

This ability to choose is freedom.

Muriel and I were walking on the meseta in the early morning when this song came into my head. Long shadows lay before us — our own, from the trees. Cool air and silence. We didn’t walk the same pace, so I was about a half mile ahead of Muriel and enjoying the quiet company.

And then I heard the words in my head, “I forgive you.” I knew at once who they were for. The last 10 years, I’ve struggled to forgive my old ex for the events of our too-long relationship. I started to weep with relief. I had finally found forgiveness in my heart and I felt the freedom wash over me.

A moment later, I heard the words again. “I forgive you.” And I knew this time they were for me. Tears flowed when I thought of all of the years I’ve harshly judged myself for sacrificing my joy for safety. My peace for security. My heart for stability. In that moment, I forgave myself for not trusting my own knowing, for staying even though I knew it wasn’t healthy for me.

And I was free. I felt more free in that moment that I can remember feeling in a long time.

Years of resentment and blame just blew away like dust in the morning breeze.

And then this song came to me.

Do you see what I see? A rainbow shining over us in the middle of a hopeless storm
Sometimes I’m blinded by my feelings and I can’t see beyond my troubled mind
afraid of what I’ll find — the story of our lives but there’s tomorrow

I’m free, I’m free. Things are only as important as I want them to be
we’ll have a breath of sunshine when the rain goes away, I pray

Do you need a friend right now on the road that you’re going to?
If you get lost just call me I’ll be there
‘Cause though I may not have the answers at least I know what I’m looking for
I can do without this sorrow there’s a day after tomorrow, so I’m leaving it behind

So I left this decade-long sorrow behind me on the meseta.

Here’s the thing: the day after this miracle occurred and I was freed from my blame and resentment, I actually shared about this transforming event with Muriel. It felt so tender and personal, but somehow I knew she would understand.

That second verse came true. Also on her own road toward freedom of the heart, she heard me and honored my transformation. So I was doubly blessed — I let go of the negative and all this love came in its place.

So yeah, maybe Jon’s old school 90s pop, but those lyrics are a wonderful mantra: I’m free. I’m free. I’m free.

And so are you.

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