The origins of our Thanksgiving holiday celebrate two cultures coming together to help and enrich each others lives. It could be argued that, for the Pilgrims, this was necessary for their survival! Native Americans had at their disposal significant networks of support that allowed them to survive and thrive.
Our individualistic culture fuels the delusion that we are intended to be self-sufficient islands looking after ourselves and our own interests. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to be reminded, through a practice of gratitude, that we are not independent beings. We are creatures that exist within a network of relationships of which we both contribute and receive. We are not independent but instead interdependent. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reflect on that and express that. So, on this day of giving thanks, give yourself the gift of acknowledging all of those people that make a difference in your life.
Questions for Helpers:
- As helpers we contribute to the lives of others frequently. For some of us it can be difficult to allow others to contribute to our lives. What ways do you allow others to contribute to your life? What areas make it difficult for you to accept help/support?
- Where is the line between independence and interdependence? What is the line between interdependence and dependence?
Other blogs by Mathew Meyers, MA, LMFT