August 12, 2016

How Misinterpreting Ho’oponopono led me to True Forgiveness.

laura betancourt/Flickr

Have you been feeling knocked over by all the violent energy in the world lately?

At times like this, it’s difficult to find peace or even to remember to stop and breathe.

What if I told you that you could contribute to increasing peace in the world with a very simple practice?

You may have heard about Ho’oponopono, a really lovely Hawaiian forgiveness practice.

It is powerful.

You imagine a person with whom you’ve had a disagreement or harbor difficult feelings towards and you say:

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

This is focused on healing the place in your heart that is holding on to the resentment/guilt/fear/sadness. It is likely to spill over into the other person’s energy and they may even call you or apologize, but that’s really not the intention. You can only control your own actions.

I’d been doing this practice for well over a year, and (maybe not so coincidentally) quite a bit on the person who taught it to me, but I was still feeling a lot of sadness.

I was having trouble really, truly letting go.

One day, sobbing in the bathtub with a heavy heart and the past still weighing deeply, I realized that I had been missing a very important step in this process. I had spent so much time focusing on my forgiveness for the others, that I had forgotten about the most important person in healing my own sweet heart—myself.

I pictured the scenarios again, the people I had hurt and who had hurt me and instead of speaking to them, I saw myself, all that time ago.

I said, I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I owned my responsibility in each situation: the pain that caused me to say the hurtful words, the practice of holding my words in too long until they exploded, even the times when I should have spoken up and didn’t.

I forgave myself for the times of low self-esteem, for not stepping into my power sooner. I forgave myself for being an angsty teenager, for the time my combat boot went through the wall because my parents wouldn’t let me go on a date.

I said “I love you” to the grumpy, frumpy adolescent who was jealous and insecure.

I said “I’m sorry” to my college self, who made bad decisions to please others.

I said “Please forgive me” to the more mature me who should have known better than to lash out with angry words, maiming important relationships.

I said “Thank you” as I felt the love and forgiveness for all the versions of me.

All of those unforgiven me’s had been crowding my heart, shouting at each other in guilt and shame, criticizing one another and pointing fingers, trying to figure out who was the worst.

And now they were free, forgiven with the others, at last.

I thanked Archangel Jeremial, the angel responsible for doing life reviews. I also thanked Archangel Chamuel, the angel of Love.

I prayed to all the angels to join and protect me, to heal my heart.

And because I was choosing to love my tired self, I took a nap. This releasing stuff can really take it out of you. But it’s worth it.

I awoke lighter, more joyful, humming and ready to start again.

It can be so easy to forget, especially as we try to stay grounded in our busy lives. But how can we scream that we want more peace when we still keep corners of our hearts for our own angry or insecure thoughts? How can we forgive the rest of the world when we forget to love and nurture the person we hang out with the most- our Self?

When we take the time to perform a ritual like this, it raises our frequency in the world. When we feel more peaceful and have more room in our hearts for love, we are able to hold more space for peace.

And that, my friend, can make a big difference.




Author: Laura Novak 

Image: laura betancourt/Flickr 

Editor: Renée Picard

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Laura J. Novak