Learning how to forgive and extend love and compassion to others is one of the most important things we can learn. Holding grievances hurts ourselves far more than anything anyone else has ever appeared to “do” to us.
It puts a veil over the Light that shines within us, cutting us off from our experience of being connected with God, and therefore, love.
I had the great honor to attend a weekend workshop with an amazing Hawaiian shaman named Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. He teaches an ancient Hawaiian tradition of forgiveness named Ho’oponopono. That weekend was life-changing for me.
Let me first give you a little background on the Ho’oponopono perspective then I’ll show you how it can be valuable in learning how to forgive.
Ho’oponopono is born out of the fact that all life is interconnected, and is all made of the very same Essence. Further, we create every single thing that occurs in our life, big or small, by the vibrations that are dominant within our own being. We are like a human projector.
The vibrations within us project out and create images and dramas that are reflections of the energies within us. If it is in our life, it came from within us, otherwise it could not be here. This includes so called “other” people as well as every single thing we experience.
For instance, 10 people could attend the same party and have 10 very unique experiences, meet different people, have different conversations, and come away from the experience with 10 different sets of perceptions.
Each of those 10 people will experience parts of themselves at that party, which will be different from the other 9 people, who are all uniquely experiencing parts of themselves as well.
Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD, is famous for curing a complete ward of criminally insane patients at the Hawaii State Hospital, but without ever “treating” any of them.
He didn’t even meet with them, except to occasionally play tennis or other recreational activities. At the workshop I attended with him, I met the woman who was the director of the ward at the time and she verified the following facts.
Instead of the usual psychological treatments, Dr. Len practiced Ho’oponopono. Without meeting in person with the inmates, he studied each person’s chart. From the perspective that there is really only one Being and it is Us, he looked within himself to see how he created that person's mental illness.
He then healed the part of himself that created their distress, by focusing love on that condition. He took total responsibility for whatever he saw that needed healing. From this perspective, he ignored the boundaries we are all conditioned to falsely believe, that there is some boundary between “me” and “you.”
As he focused on each person he said “Thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you,” to them over and over again, day after day after day. This is the essence of Ho’oponopono and this is ALL he did.
Learning how to forgive is really about taking responsibility for our life in a far deeper and broader way than most of us have ever even considered. Total responsibility means that everything in our life is our responsibility. Everything.
This means every person that comes into our life experience as well as their actions, everything we see or hear or experience, is here because they are a reflection of something within us.
By the Law of Attraction, nothing could be in our life unless we resonated with it in some way. It couldn’t be in our life unless it was a vibrational match to something inside us, whether we are conscious of it or not. What we dominantly put our attention on manifests in our life.
The kind of thoughts that we think create reflections of that same vibration all around us. So, in a sense, we CREATE them. Each of us creates the world that we live in.
This means that when we see a politician or even a terrorist and we don’t like what we see, what we are actually seeing is a part of our self and it is being shown to us to give us an opportunity to heal it.
These “others” don't exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside us.
The problem isn't with them because there is no “them” that is separate from us. In order to change “them” we have to change our self. This is learning how to forgive.
Yes, this seems hard to grasp at first because it is so different from how we are conditioned to believe. It is an ongoing process to fully accept and actually live from this perspective. Basically, it comes down to loving yourself as the You that is everything you see and experience.
As you love
everything you experience, your world begins to change, because your
outer world is a projection of your inner world. In order to improve
your own life, you have to heal your life – and your life is you and
everything IN your life. As we learn how to forgive, our life
automatically shifts into a more loving realm.
As Dr. Len took responsibility for everything that was happening with each of his patients, they each improved! Basically he worked on himself and they changed because they are a reflection of him. He worked on how to forgive them as himself.
When Dr. Len first joined the Hawaii State Hospital, staff turnover was outrageously high because it was such a dreary place to live, work in, or visit.
The heavy pull of the negative burdens the patients carried was far too overwhelming for any of the staff to endure long term. They couldn’t even keep any potted plants on the ward because the energy was so toxic the plants died.
However, in the four years Dr. Len was there, big changes happened. As patients that had to be shackled began to heal, gradually their shackles were removed because they were no longer a threat. Medications were gradually reduced, then eliminated.
The inmates got better and better and the staff stabilized and began to enjoy their jobs. Eventually they closed the ward because all the patients were released! All of this came as a result of one man who was dedicated to learning how to forgive.
For a beautiful and inspiring account of how one woman used Ho'oponopono for healing, please read her letter in the right column of this page (or at the bottom if you are viewing this on your phone).
A wonderful thing I’ve discovered in learning how to forgive is that this Ho'oponopono technique works even if I resist doing it at first.
When I first learned this technique I began using it with someone who I had a long-standing grudge against. It was very painful to continue to carry the negative energy toward them.
Even so, I couldn’t seem to let go of the “I’m right and you’re wrong” energy. I began saying “thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you” to them over and over again, during my meditations, and at idle times during the day.
Gradually, over the course of a few days I noticed that even though I still felt a fair amount of negativity toward them, I was now willing to let go of the grudge. I continued on with the process and after a month or so I had a healing experience in meditation:
With continuing to forgive this person, eventually I was able to completely release all my negativity toward them.
As you begin practicing Ho'oponopono, you'll probably notice that your investment in being right and separating from the other person gets dismantled. Barriers seem to melt and the underlying truth of connection with the person shows itself. I think this is the reason this works.
At the core, there is no separation between any of us, no matter what any of us has done. Holding back love creates the illusion of separation. Then saying “Thank you, I’m sorry, I love you,” melts that illusion.
After my workshop on Ho’oponopono, I did some healing work with a medical intuitive. During that session I realized that there were was an energetic chord that connected me to a person I was in conflict with.
In this case it was belly-to-belly because it was a power struggle.
While I worked with the medical intuitive, I said to the person I was releasing the chord from:
Whew! Repeating these words released the negativity on a much deeper level and I saw light in my inner vision.
As you're learning how to forgive, In some cases a negative bond may be quite strong and you’ll need to repeat this process several times.
As stated before, as you begin the words, it’s okay if your heart isn’t totally into forgiving someone at first. I guarantee you that if you stay with repeating the words anyway, it will be.
If you feel moved to do the exercise at all, it means that your heart really is wanting to learn how to forgive, but since the negative energy is there, it will color your thoughts. Just keep at it and you’ll
release the suffering around the situation.
A powerful way to bring a group into harmony is to practice Ho’oponopono at a gathering. Just look around the room, focusing on each person at a time and silently say “Thank you, I’m sorry, I love you,” repeating it until you feel love for that person.
If you are a group facilitator, you can also do this before your meeting. Go down your list of registered participants, focusing on them individually and saying the words until you feel love.
It will clear whatever is on the surface of the group, so that by the time you meet together, you can more quickly get down to the purpose of your meeting. I’ve used this technique before potentially “sticky” meetings and have been delighted to see how smoothly things went.
We can also practice this when we see a politician on TV, or anyone to whom we feel resistance. It reminds us that they are not separate from me and that our resistance is our own responsibility to heal.
This is a powerful thing we can do together for our planet and all of us beings on it as a whole. Just envision the planet and say “Thank you, I’m sorry, I love you.” Keep repeating it until you feel love permeating your being.
I’ve noticed that after I do this I see much more evidence of love in the world. I hear reports of selfless people working for harmony. I firmly believe that THIS is a way to heal our planet. By healing ourselves, by learning how to forgive, we heal our world.
For more information and to give you an experience of the power of learning how to forgive, I invite you to try this easy, yet powerful Forgiveness Meditation.
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It just takes a few seconds. :-)
Thank you! Love and blessings of light, joy, love and healing to you my friend...
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