Why Are People Afraid to be Happy?

People are afraid to be happy

Do you know why people are afraid when you are happy? It’s not just because when you’re happy, you change the world.

They’re afraid… to be happy. People are afraid to be happy.

I know you’re thinking, “Really? You’re afraid of Mochi?”

You’re afraid of my baby?

You’re afraid of this beautiful ocean?

Yeah. People are afraid of cuteness, of vulnerability, of surrendering to beauty. Because when you’re happy— you are not in control of your joy.

The key words here, are “not in control.” Joy is not controllable.

You can’t help but smile when you see Mochi. You can’t help but melt when you hold your infant in your arms. You can’t help but breathe… when you face the ocean. When you’re happy, you’re not in control. Happiness is. People are afraid of not being in control.

Write this in your journal: My happiness is not controllable. It is limitless.

This freaks a lot of people out. When people can’t “control” you, they get scared. People are not dumb. They know. They can’t even control you now. How can they control you when you’re happy?

Have you ever tried to control little kids when they’re excited?

Have you ever tried to herd cats?

Or tried to control the ocean?

You can’t control happiness. People know that they can’t control you— if you’re happy.

Please write that in your journal:

People know that they can’t control me— if I’m happy. [Watch the video above for a happiness exercise]

Jesus is Happiness

Jesus was happiness. He was not controllable.

This was a big threat to the religious and political authorities at that time. They needed to control people. So they put people in fear. Because when people are living in fear, they look to authority to give them answers. When people are living in happiness, they look to one another to co-create possibilities.

When you are happy, you have a very different response to life than people who are not happy.

Back in ancient times, there were always crowds gathering. Sometimes, when the crowds got really big, they would form a mob. And if that mob was angry or determined to organize to take action— that mob could have immense power.

So as soon as a big crowd would form, the authorities were prepping their riot gear, filling their pockets with rubber bullets, equipping themselves with tear gar, leashing up the dogs.

The first response of authority is to CONTROL the situation.

Right when that was happening, the disciples notified Jesus, “A big crowd is forming! Come quick!”

Jesus appears on the scene. The disciples look one way— rubber bullets, tear gas, barking dogs. Then they look the other way and there is Jesus with hot cocoa, marshmallows and popcorn. Because when Jesus sees a big crowd, his first response is not fear, it’s love.

The first response of leadership is to co-create a new situation.

The disciples said to Jesus, “They’re angry. That mob wants to take action and overthrow the government.”

Jesus said, “Yeah, but they have to eat first.”

Fear begets fighting. Food begets fullness. And Faith begets formation. Meaning, fighting creates chaos. Faith creates formation.

So, right before we fight them— let’s fill our tummies with holiday cheer— forget about who’s right or wrong— and imagine the possibilities.

Jesus came to help us stop living in fear and to start living in love. He came to abolish our need for an authority to tell us what is right or wrong. And to teach us how to co-create leadership amongst ourselves— to design a space of happiness.

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