Finding Meaning at Thanksgiving

At different points, most of us seek work, hobbies, relationships or interests that are meaningful and therefore provide additional meaning to our lives. After losses thanksgiving cook(deaths, heartbreaks, unemployment or illness), we may have to search for meaning all over again or learn to find it in different places than before.
A 2013 study found that when social relationships provide an all important sense of belonging, people feel life has more meaning.
The study – Subjects – group # 1 – closed their eyes and thought about two people or groups to which they really belonged (family, sorority, church, team, marriage, etc).  Then, they were asked about how much meaning life had. Another group of subjects – group # 2 – thought about the value of other people and a third group – group # 3 – thought about the help that other people had provided for them. All good thoughts.  When the groups were compared, group # 1 felt the highest levels of meaning in life.
Conclusion: belonging to a group provided people with more meaning then getting in touch with the value of others or the help they could provide. More than attachment (which is also critical), belonging to a group makes you feel like you fit in and that increases your sense of meaning in life.
So, sort of applicable for the holiday season, especially if you stretch it, is the idea that meaning is found in various ways–sometimes through family, religion and the sense of self. But, certainly, one way to find meaning in life is by seeking out one or more places where we belong and where things make sense. A good idea to keep in mind while we sit at the Thanksgiving table.
I”m making challah stuffing for the turkey to celebrate “Thanksgivicah”, the unusual occasion of Thanksgiving and Chanukah occurring together.  Happy Thanksgiving. LE
source for the study Lambert et al., 2013.
A novel of love and obsession, Object of Obsession
Object of Obsession
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