As a rancher, I'm used to working outdoors and spending my fair share of time in the Texas sun. It's moments like these that, to me, reflect the very essence of freedom—the sun shining bright, the wind on my face, majestic, wild creatures waking up around me. But at the same time, there's something distinctly different about enforced restrains—partly, out of necessity, and partly, out of respect for nature.
Out here on my ranch I'm responsible for a large number of cows, and for their safety, restraint plays a subtle role. When the weather gets rough, I have to restrain them from wandering into certain areas, ensuring that my herd stays safe from danger. It's in moments like these that I'm reminded of the importance of limits and boundaries.
Similarly, my own life can sometimes be full of restraints—limits on time, patience, resources, or, most commonly, my own physical abilities. After a particularly rough bull wrangling session, I was left with a chronic backache, a constant reminder of the fragile nature of the human body. But instead of letting this discourage me, I used it as a means to become even more conscious of my limits and to build an unbreakable spirit.
Restraint is a two-way street. It's not just about protecting my herd, or restraining myself from physical mistakes. More often than not, we need to restrain ourselves from fear or misguided assumptions. By that same token, I've found it best to focus on the freedom that we have, to make best of our lot, even when we can't control everything. I've learned to never let my fears hold me back from doing what's right for my ranch, my family, and my soul.
So, even when I find myself in a bind, running up against limits and boundaries, I take a moment to appreciate the opportunity I am presented with—the opportunity to redefine my own understanding of freedom. That, to me, is the beauty of being restrained—it can become a mercy that allows us to fill our lives with purpose and hope.