وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ
And that it is He (Allâh) Who makes (whom He wills) laugh,
and makes (whom He wills) weep.
The Holy Quran 53:43
I find that a lot of people are hung-up on happiness.
I've written about it before in my post Pleasure vs Happiness
The expectation is that the state of happiness is the normal way we should be feeling and any deviation from that norm means that we are either being wronged or somehow wronging ourselves.
It really isn't about what's around you as much as what's inside you. If you have peace inside you then that foundation of calmness makes good feelings possible.
Peace is Islam. So, yes, to feel happiness means veering back to where you know you should be on the path.
I wrote about Dr. Robert Holden's work here. He says, "When you forget who you are, you forget what happiness is." So, getting in touch with your inner core (which is where you are connected to God) means you can reach that bouyant feeling of floating along through the day.
I'm thinking again about what is happiness because of a Tweet that came to me. " 9.6% of its population chronically depressed, the U.S. is the most depressed country in the world. least depressed is Nigeria"
That's amazing, isn't it?!
Yet, it made me remember a psychological study of lottery winners a year after their win. The study was called, "Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative?"
Another blogger wrote about it here.
Years ago, I read about the study and never forgot about it. Even before Islam, I was completely against the buying of lottery tickets. I once lost a dream job I loved because I refused to sell pull tabs. I was visiting schools and teaching social skills through drama. Part of the non-profit's way to afford their program was to have their teachers sell pull tabs in bars. When I balked at the evils of gambling, I was let go. It remains totally ironic that I had been teaching children to find their inner voice and to distinguish right from wrong but when I did the same and spoke up to my boss it was not appreciated.
The Western theory is that happiness comes in a bottle or in a pill; that we can find it in a person, or in a pile of money. This is disproven time and again.
I've been really moved these last days by the awesome words in the surah An-Najm. I invite you to read and to remember. Read because you've been searching. Read because you want peace. Read because through peace you'll find inshahallah the happiness you so desire.