Monday, June 18, 2012

Branding irons and love...

At times, thoughts and experiences from the past hinder us from enjoying the present. Our minds are in the habit of labeling experiences: good, bad, ugly, beautiful, safe, dangerous, happy, got bucked off, burned, etc.. This can work for us and teach us; for example, we learn a branding iron is hot and can burn so we "label" it as "dangerous" and avoid it. However, only a small part of it is dangerous, and only in certain situations (when it's heated up). We know that.
In many life experiences however, this instinct to label holds us back. We do not label the whole iron as "bad" just because a small part of it can be - but many fail to enjoy the present because they are too busy labeling it or living with a jaded view.
Just because you got "burned" once does not mean you should completely avoid a thing again. Negative emotions about the past may no longer be relevant at this moment. By viewing experiences as negative and approaching them with a sour attitude, you may be failing to give yourself a chance at enjoying the here and now. The past is gone, there is nothing you can do about it but learn from it...then file it away and do not dwell on it.
THIS moment is ALL you really have, why taint it with worries about the past...or the future? Just as you learned how to handle a branding iron and make it work for you without getting "burned," you can apply this to your life as well. Love, for example, can bite you or love can excite you - you have the choice to look at it, and use it, one way or the other. Robbing yourself of the enjoyment of THIS moment because of something that happened in the past is like never marking your cattle again because you once got burned!
Remember to enjoy the experience for what it is; a new moment, unfolding in front of your eyes, full of wonderful possibilities! Love! Live! Enjoy!


  1. Jim: I like this comment, but I would add that while it does little good to dwell on some mistake made, learning from it requires more than simply moving on.
    It requires some form of change in your life, not necessarily a repentance, but some personal commitment that helps you continue to learn from the experience throughout your life.

    In my case, I was a terror as a teenager and managed to get into a lot of trouble with the law. It embarrassed my family and caused me to dedicate myself to helping other young men avoid making the same mistakes. In the end, it directed me toward law enforcement and finally the practice of law and the development of writing skills so I could actually communicate with others on a wide variety of topics. Those mistakes were never put behind me, but rather live with me today as part of who I am.

  2. We are the sum of our past experiences and how we choose to look at/deal with them Gerald. Good thoughts!


About Me

My photo

Jim Olson is a ranch-raised cowboy, author and entrepreneur. Growing up on the high plains of eastern New Mexico he learned to ride young colts, tend to cattle and drive heavy farm equipment at an early age. 

Jim spent a few years competing in the calf roping event at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association level, qualifying for the circuit finals a few times. He lives on and operates a ranch near Stanfield, Arizona, once a part of John Wayne’s Red River Ranch, and also owns Western Trading Post, dealing in Cowboy and Indian collectibles. 

These great life experiences Jim now uses in his writing career. He writes stories about interesting and extraordinary people of the west including short stories of both fiction and nonfiction. He has a monthly column titled “Cowboy Heroes,” published by several Southwestern and national magazines. Jim has written three books and is working on other projects as well. He can be reached via the web: 


PetAlive Effective Remedies for Your Pet