I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
What do these words mean to you? They’re phrases taken from an ancient verbal healing practice called ho’oponopono. These words act as a means of self-forgiveness and can be used by anyone to drastically improve the relationship with themselves and others.
Origin of Ho’oponopono
Ho'oponopono was created in ancient Hawaii as a healing prayer
to mend relationships. Hawaiian culture holds the belief that a lack of forgiveness results in illness and imbalance in one’s body. Ho’oponopono is designed to restore balance and harmony by re-introducing the forgiveness that is missing and is causing disease.
Two or more people can speak the ho’oponopono phrases to one another in an effort to heal their relationship troubles. Now the practice has developed to include the relationship you hold with yourself. By starting with yourself—self forgiveness, self love, self identity—you can clear negative energies from trauma from the inside out. It’s simplistic yet powerful and can heal your life with love and forgiveness.
Ho'oponopono is said in 4 simple parts:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Here are some uses in everyday situations:
1. To make peace with someone or something that caused you pain
2. For self forgiveness over any wrongdoings, judgments, self contempt and/or criticism
3. As a general form of inviting love into your heart
The most important aspect of ho’oponopono is to say each of the phrases genuinely, while feeling the meaning of them from deep in your heart.
Four Steps for Ho’oponopono
1. I’m Sorry
We might think that there’s nothing to be sorry about in our lives, but truth is, we hurt ourselves and others in more ways and more often than we think. Have you ever been in situations where someone has hurt you and that person had no idea that they did? Just like that, we can be the cause of hurt and pain for others without our awareness of it. What about the voices of self judgment and criticism that you might be playing over and over in your mind? That is also a form of hurting yourself too. For all the wrongdoings you’ve done to others (knowingly and unknowingly), say: I’m sorry
. For all the criticism and judgment you’ve had against yourself that have made you sad and feel not good enough say: I’m sorry
. Focus on these reflections with a sincere and open mind. It’s important to resonate with this feeling and not let any pride or defensiveness get in the way of the inner healing.
2. Please Forgive Me
The first step of saying you’re sorry is arguably the hardest and most important part of ho’oponopono to understand. Once you’re able to reflect and connect with those moments you feel sorry for, the rest of the steps will come naturally. After I’m sorry
, comes Please forgive me
. When you’re fully aware and recognize the things you are sorry for, it’s natural to ask forgiveness from yourself and others. If the person isn’t physically next to you to apologize to, bring the image of that person’s face to your mind as you ask for forgiveness. Ask it of yourself, ask it of others, and imagine that person forgiving you in your mind. Ask it of every negative energy source around you or in your awareness. Please forgive me
. Forgiveness is one of the highest levels of consciousness
we can have. The path to becoming free from any negative feelings of wrongdoing and resentment is to ask for and receive forgiveness.
3. Thank You
Now the ho’oponopono mantra turns for the brighter. Once you’ve fully asked for and have received forgiveness from yourself and others, now is the time to say Thank you
. Thank you for forgiving me
. You can thank yourself, or those you said sorry to. You can even begin to express gratitude for things commonly taken for granted
: your lungs for letting you breathe, the sun for its light, your family for giving you love. There are no limits to the beautifully healing energy you can experience with this sentence. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to thanking yourself—you deserve to give yourself credit, even if it’s for the small things. You’ve helped yourself make it this far! Connecting to the grateful energy of Thank you
will bring powerful healing to your heart and mind.
4. I Love You
The natural healing progression after opening and feeling emotionally tender areas is to end with love. Say I love you
to practice unconditional love for yourself and for those whom you’ve just received forgiveness from. Pronounce it to your mind, your life, your home, your family. Repeat it to everything and you will start to fill the space of anger and resentment with love and light. Even to the things that challenge you or scare you—say I love you
. To difficulties and hardship—say I love you
. The energy of love has the power to offer tremendous healing to you and everyone involved.
Have you tried ho’oponopono? Tell us some of the things you include during your sessions and describe how it made you feel. We’d love to hear from you in the comments!