Is there such a career as a ‘Happiness Provider’? Apparently there is. I read about this ‘happiness’ consultant who has studied ‘happiness’ for three years. Now, she holds her ‘happiness’ workshops in Dubai.
The concept is very interesting. I believe most of such coaching is useful to some degrees if followed correctly. How does it work? Mainly through a change in perspective. The coached person is taught to become better aware of good things in him and outside him, and he is shown how to appreciate nice things that he was oblivious to before. This changed attitude, inturn, causes him to experience many moments of joys & pleasures.
But are those things ‘happiness’? Can we survive solely on them – those sensual joys, those ephemeral pleasures, those borrowed enjoyments, those giddy laughters, those triumphs, those accolades…? As much as they enrich our lives, these fleeting episodes do not settle in the deepest core of the heart, nor satisfy the soul. What really is happiness then – the real thing?
It is usually described as a ‘state of well-being defined by contentment & inner peace’. The renowned specialist of the heart Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi (rahimuhullah) hits the perfect note when he describes:
“Truly in the heart there is a void that can not be removed except with the company of Allah.
And in it there is a sadness that can not be removed except with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.” [Al-Fawaid]
All joys flow from this ultimate fountain of happiness – the acknowledgment & submission to Allah. And, without it, all those ‘happy’ moments are shallow, temporary or just a façade.
This maybe the reason why the renowned icon of selfless love & charity, Mother Teresa did not find happiness during all those years of serving humanity. Her confessional letters describe the emptiness, the torture, the darkness that filled her core:
“The smile is a mask…”
“Where is my Faith? Even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness. My God, how painful is this unknown pain. I have no Faith. I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart & make me suffer untold agony.”
“As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.” [Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light]
Only true belief & complete submission satiates the heart and quenches the soul. And once that happens, the happiness, the bliss, the tranquility that descends is known only to those who carry their paradise in their chests. One can only try to (enviously) imagine the delights that must fill their hearts when they describe their happiness:
“If kings and the sons of kings knew what we had, they would try to take it from us by the sword!”
“There are times when the heart dances in joy.”
“There are times when I say, ‘If the people of Heaven have anything like this, how truly sweet their lives!'” [Al-Fawaid]
May we get to taste this delight in our lives too.