Last night, I had an argument with my partner.
I said terribly unkind things to him and he did a pretty stellar job of lobbing nastiness right back at me.
We both awoke today feeling wounded, drained and confused. Add to all of that a lack of restful sleep et voila…two tickets to Disasterville.
Upon rising, we hit coffee shop to sit and talk a bit. (We weren’t at home, and had very little privacy at our quaint B&B.) We started out apologizing but it quickly took a turn for the worse. I felt my blood boiling as we blamed each other, repeated ourselves and became increasingly agitated, even as we we tried to discuss what was going on. Equal parts defensive and reactive; it wasn’t getting any better.
I stormed out, leaving him there.
We had created a tornado of emotions with a little medium house blend thrown in.
In the end, I wound up going for a long walk alone in the hopes of clearing my thoughts. The fresh air must have helped, because after trekking a mile to the worlds least impressive waterfront park, it hit me.
There were four magic things that one of my yoga teachers shared with me many years ago. I needed to say them to myself, and then to my boyfriend.
Here they are:
1. I’m sorry
2. Please forgive me
3. Thank you
4. I love you
I sat there on a park bench and whispered the words aloud to myself. I did this five times and took slow, deep breaths in between.
Later in the day, I texted the same words over to my partner and he immediately replied with affection, compassion and love. I was a little surprised that these four simple phrases could be so helpful, but they were. We weren’t out of the woods, but I could feel that we were moving towards healing.
We even got to laughing about how Mercury had been in retrograde, which is a whole other article!
As it turns out, these phrases actually come from the ancient Hawaiian tradition known as Ho’oponopono (Ho-oh-pono-pono) aka The Hawaiian Code of Forgiveness. The basic concept is that each of us is responsible for everything, and if we do not make peace with ourselves, we cannot have peace with anyone else.
When we forgive others, we also forgive ourselves; everything is connected and we are all able to make things better or worse. The choice is ours.
So in the end I chose to stop blaming, perpetuating frustration and sadness. I believe that Ho’oponopono can help us right now. Start by saying the four phrases noted above to yourself, then say them to someone you know, and see how it helps.
Sit with your eyes closed, and really feel the words as you say them. (The universe can tell when we’re bullsh*tting.)
You’ve got everything to gain, so give it a try. Ancient Hawaiian tradition can’t be that far off, right?
Author: Anna Maria Giambanco
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: Tom Godber at Flickr
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