The Art of Letting Go
Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian word meaning literally “to make right” or to correct errors. This word is used to describe a technique to solve problems in which family members gather to improve relationships through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, mutual restitution and forgiveness. Much like a group mental cleansing, Ho’oponopono is a way to release past grudges, to let go and live at peace with yourself, those you love, and those around you.
The practice goes back to the mid 1900’s when Mary Kawena Pukui documented her experiences with this practice in her 2 volume book titled “Nānā i ke Kumu” which translates to Look to the Source.
In her volumes, Kawena describes Ho’oponopono as a practice where family members gather with the intention to bend broken family ties; much like the family meetings that therapists recommend nowadays, except Ho’oponopono includes prayer, confession and mutual compensation.
In 1980 Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a Kahuna (Healing Priest) herself, developed an updated version of the practice of Ho’oponopono to be implemented individually by all who need and desire to heal their hearts from resentment and discord. The main focus of this practice is to realize and accept complete responsibility for one’s deeds and actions.
Modern Ho’oponopono practice is based on the notion that everything we experience and exists around us is a projection of what we carry inside. Thus, it is our total responsibility to change our reality. In philosophical terms, this concept relates to solipsism – the only thing that exists is our mind.
The whole of reality is contingent upon the self’s perception, or the world within. The events in the world without (our outer world experience) are composed of mere interpretations of the self, having no objective existence. It is our own life experiences that got tattooed –so to speak- into our subconscious mind that compels us to “play them back” every time we encounter a new experience within the same realm.
Truth is, there are no new problems. As human beings, we carry the same blueprint since the beginning of time. We’re just playing and replaying the same old patterns. Carl Jung, Swiss Psychiatrist, referred to this as collective unconsciousness also known as a reservoir of the experiences of our species.
One of Jung’s famous theories associated with archetypes explains this concept more in depth. In it, Jung suggested the existence of universal stereotypes. These channel our experiences and emotions in a way that result in recognizable and specific behavior patterns which generate certain probable outcomes.
Memories are recorded in our subconscious mind and passed on from generation to generation. As we combine these inherited memories with our own life experiences we give birth to our own set of beliefs which make us behave the way we do. Many times, these memories fabricate limiting beliefs that manifest in vicious cycles we cannot seem to get rid of. For instance… how many times have you wanted to stop a certain behavior consciously only to realize later on that you have fallen into the same pattern, yet again?
Realize that every time you are unhappy or frustrated with one of your patterns, is because you are acting based on memories, either your own, your ancestors’ or a combination of both. As creatures of habit, this is why it seems so difficult for us -human beings- to break away from nagging routines or ways of being.
In most instances we are not even aware of this happening. This is also what makes us so unique. It may take years of self study into self discovery to get to know oneself.
The practice of Ho’oponopono enables us to release these old patterns and memories in order to emerge as the pure beings we truly are. It allows us to let go of erroneous thoughts that are preventing us from discovering our full potential and from being our true self.
Ho’oponopono Self I-Dentity practice
The updated Ho’oponopono practice, also called Self I-Dentity, is different from the group gatherings that characterized its roots. It is also different from modern day therapy and counseling. In this new version, it is the individual the one who starts this practice from a place of self conviction, free will and definite purpose.
Commitment and responsibility are present. The individual is aware of the fact that nothing needs to be fixed in the outer world, but that everything starts within the inner realm.
As mentioned above, the first step is to acknowledge that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. As hard as this may be for some, this is an absolute essential to begin transformation, because by taking responsibility you are accepting that you are capable of modifying those aspects of your life that are not bringing you the results you want.
As simple as this may sound, it is the hardest part. Once you assimilate this and are willing to accept full responsibility, you are ready to move forward.
Four phrases to initiate the Ho’oponopono healing:
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
The simplified “how-to”
Sit or lay down comfortably, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes… try to set aside any problems you might have had during the day and just relax.
Now, repeat these four phrases over and over to yourself, either aloud or in your mind. Do it slowly and quietly, giving yourself the opportunity to feel the words. Focus on each word and pay attention to how you feel.
Here are some examples to follow…
- What are you thankful for?
Be thankful for the opportunity to clear this and let go.
- Who do you love?
Feel love towards the person who hurt you and towards yourself.
- What are you sorry for?
Feel sorry for whatever you did that caused this experience to manifest
(this is where you take full responsibility)
- What are you asking forgiveness for?
Ask for forgiveness from your Higher Source and forgive yourself.
Release and let go of what has caused this conflict and/or suffering.
Take a few moments to just be with these feelings. Let go of interpreting, ego and blame. When you are ready to continue, say a prayer for that somebody that is suffering or that has caused you suffering. It doesn’t need to be a prayer from a book, but from your heart. Breathe deeply, open your eyes, smile and go about your day feeling at peace with your being.
Let go of “learned” suffering
It can transform your life!