What propels you? Discomfort or joy?

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M Scott Peck — in

Ah, so true. Just this morning I was reminiscing on some of those finest moments and they did come out of pain.  I am not sure if all of my finest moments came from pain, or if I only remember the ones that were etched in memory because of it.

As a matter of fact I just remembered three that didn’t come out of pain.

They were life-changing, and they involved a lot of work, but not pain:

Winning Miss Union (the college I went to),

Having my daughter, (well, no emotional pain),

Our recent trip to Portugal.

And now I think of every trip to be with grandchildren.  Those are rarely painful, and so rewarding.  But do they propel me out of my ruts?  I think I have given up on trying to move to live near them.  My husband says he is a California boy.

But get this, he said he would be willing to move to Portugal if the kids would! He must have liked it!  Actually, it is really good to be home, but it was a wonderful trip.

It’s a beautiful country and we made some great friends.  An appeal to live a slow and simple life began growing.  Driving through a tiny village to the cork forest started it.  We waved to a couple of locals, and I thought I could spend a week there just being.  (And the cork forest is magical–gorgeous.)

Another day we drove to the mortar-less rock walls, and  we came across a lady about my age with her flock of goats going home to their village at sundown.  It again was magical, the goats jumping and running and her stopping and waiting on them.  She smiled and waved to us, and I thought what a sweet, simple life.

I realize I have no idea what is really involved in these apparently idyllic lives, but we get so trapped by desires and all of our stuff, and we think they are needs.  When you really pare it down what do we really need? Really?

Could I live in a small rock house without my sliding glass doors?  Even if my grandchildren were across the street?  Could I live in another country where I had to learn the language?

Do you know the difference between your needs and your wants?


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