Lessons from Ho’oponopono

Have you ever heard the story of the therapist who miraculously healed patients in a Hawaiian state hospital solely with four simple statements? Someone recently told me the story of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a spiritual expert who practiced the ancient ritual of Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono, a legendary Hawaiian healing and cleansing method, focuses on healing through loving oneself. The story goes on to say that Dr. Hew Len looked through the files of each patient at the mental hospital. While reviewing the records, he chanted a mantra over each individual file:

I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

Dr. Hew Len did this over and over for months. Shortly thereafter, previously shackled patients were allowed to walk freely. Other patients were taken off of their medications. Soon all of the patients were healed and released back in society.

The interesting thing about Dr. Hew Len’s approach is that he didn’t ask the patients to repeat the mantra themselves. Rather, he believed that, because we all share an energy and connection to each other, we ourselves have the ability to impact that energy positively or negatively for others. And, we all have the power to attract healing by our own actions and motivations. So by choosing to act on the one thing he could control — himself — his humility ultimately led to healing those connected to him, in this case his patients. That can be a radical and almost unbelievable notion for many, but it has been transformative for me.

Ho’oponopono reminds me of a socio-spiritual take on the butterfly effect, or the idea that small events can impact and become catalysts for other actions. That pendulum can swing in either a positive or negative direction. In the negative sense, there are so many ills in the world that can, in a way, stick to our souls. Bit by bit and moment by moment, those issues, if we allow them, can literally make us sick physically, emotionally and mentally. That’s because we live in a world full of people living lives that have been impacted by other hurting people. We are infecting each other by not dealing with and cleansing our internal selves.

Like many of my readers, I’ve experience a great deal of hurt in life. I’ve had setbacks and letdowns. I’ve been disappointed by relationships. I’ve even been disrespected by strangers. Unfortunately, we have no power over other people. But we do have the power to positively affect people and circumstances around us if we reconcile, forgive and heal ourselves of the unfavorable things we have experienced. That will bring healing to our own lives and, by the laws of cause and effect, the lives of those around us. The great thing about Ho’oponopono is understanding the transformative power our healing can have. And I so want that healing — for myself and people around me. But that power is a choice. So that’s what I’m choosing for myself.

I choose to heal and not hold onto anger, frustration and vengeance. I choose to let go of disappointment, regrets and wrongs that have been done against me. I don’t wish anything bad for my ex-husband, mean moms, disrespectful strangers or anyone who has caused me to not feel and be my best. I choose to be a better me, and I make that choice every day. I know that choice will impact circumstances and people around me for the better, too.

Some people say the story of Dr. Len is simply a legend, that it may or may not be true. Regardless, its foundation resonates so strongly within me. Ho’oponopono has been integral in my healing, and I’ve seen its effects in my life. I have a rekindled compassion and gratitude for everyone around me, regardless of past or present circumstances. Little hints throughout my life show me that I’m on the right path because I haven’t let negativity bog me down. Though I may be but a small butterfly on this planet, I choose to flap my wings in the winds of positivity. I have faith that the tiny breezes from my movement will attract and affirm amazing things in the lives of others. So, with that, I say to you:

I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

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