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practice of ho'oponopono


This Hawaiinan forgiveness ritual is deceivingly simple. When I bought the book, it was shorter than I expected and I thought "this is it?" But then I started practicing it and it forced me to acknowledge that I was holding onto grudges because I felt that I was right and they were wrong. And I realized that this was my ego. My ego was protecting my feelings by justifying my thoughts, words, and actions.


The practice is four statements:

I'm sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.


When I first started the practice, I picked an "easy" subject to test out since I thought I had gotten over it many years ago - my ex-boyfriends! I held my first test subject in my mind and said the magic words and my reaction was something like "I'm sorry you were such a jerk, I don't need your stinkin' forgiveness to move on, thank you for teaching me who I didn't want to be with, and I love my life without you."


Wow, okay. I didn't realize I was still holding onto relationships that had ended over a decade ago. I was really surprised!


So I worked through the practice when I could fit it in, which was commuting on the metro to and from work. It softly guided me to what I was still holding onto (the hurt and the betrayal) and it allowed me to recognize that there were "wrongs" committed on both sides that I was sorry for them. And when I asked for forgiveness, I was also forgiving them. And when I said thank you, I was giving gratitude for the experience of personal growth. And when I said I love you, it was also acknowledging that I love myself... all sides of myself... not just the self that my ego wants others to see.


This website has a good article that summarizes this beautiful practice. I hope Ho'oponopono will help you let go of emotions that your ego justifies holding onto so that you can move forward with more ease and love for your whole self.


With love,

Ming-Wai




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