I know, it’s a mouthful. It’s much easier to do than it is to say, or especially to spell (I still look it up every time.)
Ho’oponopono is a really lovely forgiveness practice that I touch upon in the heart chakra space of my Light Your Chakras e-course.
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.
Please forgive me.
This is focused on healing the place in your heart that is holding on to the resentment/guilt/fear/sadness. It is very 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.
Please forgive me.
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.
*This article was also adapted and published in elephant journal as How Misinterpreting Ho’oponopono Led Me to True Forgiveness.
Want to learn more about healing the heart? You can learn more about Setting the Heart Free on my blog or check out the Light Your Chakras Heart Chakra e-course. Full Light Your Chakras Journey also available.