Question for you. Do you believe there are angels in your life?
Do you believe there are people who show up and tell you something in just the way YOU needed to hear it…
….who show you a hidden path you had no clue existed?
On Sunday, I had breakfast with my wife and son at a delicious spot called Huckleberry. We were surrounded by young couples, a few foodies reading the Sunday paper, cool LA hipsters…and not too many young children.
So when we sat down and my son was teetering on an atomic meltdown (the terrible two’s are upon us)…my wife and I looked at each other…wondering if this was a bad call.
But there was one guy right next to us who was, how do you say it…a little peculiar…in a very beautiful way.
He had bright red hair.
He was alone, the only person in the entire restaurant who was alone. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love to eat alone.
…But not in a place like Huckleberry on a Saturday morning at 11am.
I couldn’t help but observe this redhead who was absolutely CRUSHING his breakfast. He was really getting into it. Two drinks, multiple gourmet doughnuts, several plates of food.
I will just be honest and tell you…this guy was probably 150 pounds overweight.
Meanwhile, my son, Remo, did not want to be in his highchair and the countdown to Atomic Meltdown had begun. 10, 9, 8… until Remo noticed this redhead next to us. He started smiling at Remo.
The redhead spoke to my son for a minute or two, told us several times that our son was “adorable,” then he left.
I said to my wife, “That dude is an angel. I’m sure of it.”
You could feel a very special and very sweet and very big soul. My wife, son, and I were all enchanted by him. He had that feel-good energy about him. You got the sense that he was here to make the world better. And it reminded me that is the most important responsibility anyone can possibly have.
And yet, this redhead angel was trapped in a very cumbersome body.
The greater your soul, the bigger your burden.
To anyone who wants to leave the world better than how they found it, or who wants to do right for your family, or who wants to find a way to end all this violence in our society, you are feeling this burden now more than ever.
The burden is a sense that there’s something you’re supposed to be doing. And you wonder if you’re not doing it right.
So it weighs on you. I think so many parents and entrepreneurs and teachers feel this burden day in and day out.
Sometimes the burden is too much to bear.
There are so many angels out there, maybe you, who have an almost desperate feeling of being locked into your circumstances.
You have so much LIGHT to share and yet so much weight to carry – and not necessarily always in the literal sense either.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FREE YOURSELF OF THESE BURDENS?
There is a saying in many recovery treatment centers: H.A.L.T
Take a moment to STOP and ask if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
Let’s break it down:
HUNGRY: I’m guessing for you, reading this right now, it’s not about getting enough to eat. It’s about your hunger for something deeper…someone listening to you. Really listening.
What you give to another, you give to yourself.
Next time you ask someone, “How are you?” ask them again. And then ask a third time. You’ll probably start a conversation that you are both starving to have.
ANGRY: If things don’t go our way, impatience becomes frustration.
Frustration becomes anger. Festering anger is extremely toxic.
The best way to solve all those angry demons is to overwhelm them with Light.
One thing to note. Angry people are usually very strong. As the Dalai Lama teaches, the rarest form of love is the ability to keep your heart open when you are really, really pissed off.
LONELY: Loneliness is a subtle drain of your Light. Each day you spend another 8 hours in front of a computer screen, you lose a little more Light.
More and more people I know are lonely. They just aren’t putting enough time into cultivating face-to-face interactions. All it takes is one great friendship, one bottle of wine, and one summer sunset.
The burdens are best relieved when you share them with others.
TIRED: This is the most common of the four types of burdens. Who out there is actually not tired? We all know we need more sleep. But even deeper than sleep is a restructuring of how you spend your day. The latest science tells us that to optimize our brain, for every 52 minutes of work, we need 17 minutes of rest.
If you are powering through your day, you are not just adding to your burdens, you are limiting your potential.
Make rest an active part of your day.
In thinking back to the redheaded angel at Huckleberry, he made such an impact on my family. You couldn’t miss this guy. You couldn’t miss his kindness, his aura, that special quality that draws you in.
Today, put down the weight you’ve been carrying. Relieve yourself of the struggle.
The bigger your burden, the greater your soul.