I'm Gonna Ho'oponopono You
Some months ago, a friend introduced me to Ho’oponopono. This mantra is based on ancient Hawaiian beliefs that mental and physical discomfort and illness are caused by breaking kapu or spiritual laws. Consequently, we can’t cure our suffering until we atone for the transgressions causing it. But there’s more: The Hawaiian ancients also believed whatever we see or learn of in the world becomes our responsibility. If it’s our responsibility, it’s ours to atone and heal. Well then, that’s no pressure.
Hawaiian spiritual teacher and healer Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona taught her updated version of Ho’oponopono throughout the world. Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, one of her best known students, supposedly cured an entire ward of criminally insane inmates at the Hawaii State Hospital. He says he never saw a single one of them. He read their files, took responsibility for their actions, and then healed them by healing himself with Ho’oponopono.
If Hew Len can heal that crowd, surely I can make some headway with my three kids and the family pets. There are four steps. The first is repentance through saying “I’M SORRY” for the role we played in bringing suffering. Next is “PLEASE FORGIVE ME.” Assume you’re granted this forgiveness and say, “THANK YOU.” End with “I LOVE YOU.”
Dr. Hew Len maintains it doesn’t matter if you don’t know to whom or what you are directing your apologies, thanks, and love. The who or what will figure it out. Channel Nike and just do it.
So, for the scratch I put on my floors four hours after we could walk on them; for the contractor who disappeared without connecting the dishwasher or cooktop; for the past election, which I just can’t quite move past; for the man whose zipper was undone at the grocery the other day; for those who are hungry; for the war-torn lives and countries; for the mosquitos; for the unjust treatment too many receive; for the recycling truck that skipped us last week; and for all the other discomforts big and small: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.