'Freedom' presupposes that it follows on from something which has gone before it, which was not that.
And the nature of Freedom is two fold.
Initially, there is "Freedom From":
Freedom from bondage.
Freedom from oppression.
Freedom from addiction.
Freedom from control.
Freedom from darkness in all its forms, if you like.
While these "Freedom From"s are fantastic, they're not easy.
"Freedom From" entails a stripping away. There may be relief; but there is also trauma, grief, shock, fear, destabilisation, disintegration, and then - slowly - sobering recognition of what one has really been freed from.
Being freed from, is exhausting. You feel like you could sleep for a decade - or at least a few months - if only you could rest. But there is so much to do! So much change. So much admin. So much recalibrating of your every breath. So much reorganising of your daily existence. (And you can multiply all of it by however many people are dependent upon you in this new-found Freedom From.)
"Freedom From" is knackering and, it seems, never ending.
Just as you're wailingly considering if all the grief, trauma and challenge to being set free is worth it (it is), you crest the hill.
And here, looking out, you discover the second side of freedom: the Freedom To.
For, all that climbing/all that struggling/all that offloading/all that renegotiating/all that clearing/all that healing/all that hoping has brought you here. And I can tell you this, suddenly you will gasp.
Ahead of you is a new landscape. Not like the old one (even if it looks the same) because you are different. And this is your landscape now. You can be whoever you want to be. You can go wherever you want to go. You can make it work however you want to make it work, because it's up to you.
After so much work to be freed from, now at last the second side of freedom can begin - and it gives you so much energy!
Freedom to be who you suspected you might be all along but didn't feel free enough to show it.
Freedom to try new things without judgment, scale new heights, astonish yourself with your own - freed - God-given capabilities.
Freedom to push yourself because you want to (and not because you have to).
Freedom to walk in the light of truth. Which is surely the greatest freedom of all.
If - like me - you've finally reached this place, what are you waiting for?
Stop looking at your future and ride on into it!
Sure there will be other valleys, other hills. But right now? Get out there, look up at the sky, and give yourself a forest-booming blast of Nina.
For today is a new dawn.
It is a new day.
It is a new life.
And I am, aren't you? I'm feeling good.