Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, by far. It involves everything I love: family, food, friends, gratitude and conversation. As we approach Thanksgiving this year I’ve been thinking a lot about life, and all of the gratitude I have for my many blessings. And I’ve also been thinking about the country, the future and what I can do to make a difference in the lives of others.
I am inspired by understanding that our primary motivation in life is our will to find meaning and purpose. If you really tune in to your experiences, meaning can be found in any circumstances when we give ourselves over to something greater than our self, whether that is a cause, another person or even a holiday. We always have the freedom to find meaning, whether in the face of unchangeable suffering or times of joy.
Now more than ever, people are hurting. They’re suffering in ways I don’t always understand and sometimes ways I do. We all spend an unbelievable number of hours immersed in our various virtual worlds because the real world sometimes no longer feels safe, welcoming or loving.
And in the process, we are unintentionally disconnecting from the people we love. People we care about. People who love and care about us.
One of the best cures for our anxiety and sometimes loneliness, though, is connection. It’s not shutting the world out, it’s allowing it in. It’s building community and keeping those you love close. Sure, social media allows us to look into the lives of people we know and care about, but it doesn’t give us the same connection as picking up the phone, checking in and asking “how are you?” and actually mean it. Or better yet, answering your phone when someone you care about calls you. Look, sometimes we prefer hiding in our cocoon, ignoring calls and emails we don’t feel like answering. I get it. I’ve been there. Yet sometimes, all you really need to get out of that emotional rut is dinner with someone who “gets you,” or who is willing to listen, to feel like everything is okay. Isn’t it amazing how cathartic nights like that are?
Moments with those I love, and whom I know love me, really fill me up. They make me feel grounded, safe and understood. They really serve me and help build up my inner life. I'm sure those moments do the same for you.
As Thanksgiving approaches, make time for your relationships by making room for the people in your life. It’s so important that we make the effort to gather— not just during the holidays, but during all times of the year.
So let’s commit together. Let’s serve one another. Let’s be kind. Let’s broaden our table and invite more people to gather with us. It doesn’t need to be about Thanksgiving, but from where I stand, there’s no better time than this week to begin.
Wishing you and yours a blessed and glorious Thanksgiving.