Before you go to dinner tomorrow, especially if you are sharing your Thanksgiving dinner with family or close friends, you might want to ask yourself this important question. Am I grateful “to” these people I care so deeply about – or – am I grateful “for” them. There is a difference and it is an important difference because one leads to a relationship with strings attached, and the other does not.
Here is how The ELF explained that difference to Tony in “Go to ELF – Connecting With The Eternal Life Force”
“Now, back to your original question, Tony. What would you like to know about gratefulness?”
“When I’m expressing my gratefulness, who am I expressing it to?”
“Ah, that is a very good question. There is a really big difference between being grateful ‘to’ and being grateful ‘for,’ Tony. Being grateful ‘to’ creates negative energy, and being grateful ‘for’ creates positive energy.
“Let me give you an example. Someone does you a big favor and you immediately feel grateful ‘to’ him or her for it. That type of gratefulness carries with it a sense of indebtedness. Someday, it will be ‘payback’ time. The words you say to them as you thank them actually translate to some form of ‘I owe you one.’ Whenever you feel as if you owe someone for something, you are automatically creating debt, and debt conjures up a ‘feel bad’ energy that can easily keep you mired in more debt. Be very careful, Tony, of ever being grateful ‘to’ anyone unless you really do intend to pay them back.
“However, whenever you are grateful ‘for’ something, your joyful feelings bring forth a strong, ‘feel-good’ energy. Therefore, they attract more things for which to be grateful. I find that those who regularly express gratefulness ‘for’ life itself, for example, live in a constant state of wellbeing. They feel good about themselves and about everyone else, too.
“It will really help you a lot to get a handle on this concept, Tony. Let me ask you. When you think about the money your father just sent you, do you feel grateful ‘to,’ or grateful ‘for’ him for sharing his winnings with you?”
“Both, I guess.”
“That’s an honest answer, but let’s take a look at which feels better. Feeling grateful ‘to’ him is generated by your intellect, and I’ve heard you thinking that if he ever needs you, you’ll be there for him. Those are thoughts of indebtedness, which can easily slip into more specific thoughts of indebtedness, such as, ‘Someday Dad will need me to take care of him.’ Thinking that way doesn’t feel very good, does it Tony? Those negative feelings are me signaling you that you are thinking about a situation that you don’t want, and Luca doesn’t want, either. It will serve you both much better if you stop feeling grateful ‘to’ your father, Tony, and start feeling grateful ‘for’ him.
“When you feel grateful ‘for’ your father, those grateful thoughts are coming from your heart. They slip right into thoughts about what a good man Luca is, how much he has taught you through the years, how generous he is, how much you enjoy his sense of fun, and all kinds of other good things about him that you want to continue to experience. Thoughts like that make it possible for me to give you even more reasons to be grateful ‘for’ your father, Tony. And they are already on the way, I promise you. Are you feeling the difference, Tony, between being grateful ‘to’ and being grateful ‘for’?”
“I am, and I think I also hear you saying that I can tell whether I am feeling grateful ‘to’ something or ‘for’ something by the way I feel. As long as I’m feeling really good about something, I’m actually feeling grateful ‘for’ it; therefore, I am automatically asking you to give me more of it,” Tony answered.
“That’s right. Being grateful is a very pure form of asking for more of the same, and since you have already collected whatever you are expressing gratefulness ‘for,’ it is easy for you to believe that you will be able to collect it again.”
Happy Thanksgiving – may your year be blessed with countless people and things “for” which to be grateful!