Forgiveness is a word that we have all heard of, and most would agree it is a concept that is extremely powerful, but what is this mystical experience and how do we truly practice it? I have understood forgiveness to be a spiritual act that seems to wash away suffering by acknowledging our wrongs or our part in the conflict. Once we recognize our part, we can then release it back to the divine and ask for a cleansing.
This all sounds nice, and when I learned about Ho'Oponopono, I was truly able to put this forgiveness approach into practice.
Ho’Oponopono is a Hawaiian healing system that was used in the Kahuna Community to resolve conflicts between members. Modern Ho'Oponopono was brought to our awareness by a Psychologist in Hawaii named Dr. Hew Len, who healed an entire insane asylum in Hawaii by practicing this system. I am not going to write about his story, although it is powerful and I would encourage you to research it, but instead I am going to explain how I have internalized this practice and the difference it has made in my life.
We either live from one of two spaces, memory—past information that is constantly replaying in your subconscious, or inspiration—where divine ideas are placed within and rise to the surface. This comes from the understanding that all ideas are sent to you through the divine, sink deep into our subconscious, and slowly rise to our conscious mind. The more memory or data that is replaying and stuck in your subconscious, the longer it takes for you to realize these ideas. We can tell if we are living from memory by the amount of triggers that we have in our day.
Triggers are usually old memories replaying that has clogged us up. This means that if we are clogged with memories, it becomes hard to be free and clear in this very moment, staining the perspective of the world we are currently living in. Therefore, most events become a trigger to our old wounds and make us react, emotional, or participate in drama.
Forgiveness allows us to shift into a different energy zone. The whole concept begins around the idea that suffering exists because of lack of responsibility. When any party takes responsibility for the suffering, asks for forgiveness, and releases it back to the divine, all is cleansed. This is a hard pill for many to swallow, as most life changing techniques are.
So yes, the man that cut you off on traffic, that murderer on the news, or the problems going on at work—they all exist inside of you too. Now this is not a tit for tat concept. I am not saying you are a murderer, but when you look a little deeper to see how that event triggers you, you will get an answer. Maybe when you think about that murderer, you initially get upset, but with a little introspection and asking yourself what this is triggering within, you get a sense of the energy of destruction and aggression. This energy is within you. The murderer on the news may have triggered this energy, but the energy exists within you.
This is great news, because the only thing you can change is yourself. Once you see that you too have participated in thoughts of destruction, or an attitude of aggression, you can also see that this space needs the healing work. This is where your work begins. No one can tell you what is being triggered in you. You have to take a moment with yourself and ask yourself that question. Anytime that you notice an inner disturbance by something going on outside of yourself, it becomes an opportunity to practice a new approach. The point is to find the trigger and see that the pain exists within you, and you are being triggered by the event.
The next step is to practice Ho'Oponopono, which is four simple phrases: "I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you and I love you." That’s all. Over and over again in that space that you discovered where you had that destructive thought or aggressive attitude, own it. Go to that inner place, close your eyes, and inwardly repeat these four phrases. You can say them to yourself, to the divine, or even to another. This is your conversation with the divine, so honor it, and know that there is no wrong way to practice. Repeat, I am sorry for my participating in the energy of destruction. Please forgive me and clean this space inside of me. I thank you for bringing this information to my awareness so I can clean and clear it. And I surround you with love. I love you.
These four phrases: "I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you and I love you", have been known to have the same frequency of that created by monks meditating. The result from this practice is amazing. It is simple, you don’t ask for forgiveness to get or change anything. Your sole purpose with forgiveness is to clean and cleanse yourself, period. Just like the concept of a shower. We don’t say showering doesn’t work, it works and does its job, but we have to do it every day to remain clean. The same is true for forgiveness. We practice to be and stay clean.
Becoming aware of everything that disturbs you, and looking for your role in it is a challenging process, but it will grow your spirit and change the way you see your world. Once you find your triggers, and own them, you are now empowered to become a part of the healing. If you can own and stand in that space for a moment long enough to repeat these phrases, you will begin to clean and clear your past gunk that is getting in the way of your future. They say, forgive and forget. These four phrases put a powerful application process to that age old saying.