Because Life is Messy
Ho’Oponopono, is a Hawaiian saying used in healing practices of Kahuna. An expression of love that is designed to help with the self healing process, these words have been coming out of my mouth a lot lately.
What does it mean?
After a quick search you will find there a few varying perspectives on the what the exact translation is but I believe it to be somewhere along the lines of “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You”. You gotta love the Hawaiian dialect with its unique combination of simplicity and depth, because as you look at the word itself it almost appears to be the same word over and over. When you reflect on its translation you see the incredible beauty of this mantra, in one fell swoop these words can communicate one of the most powerful messages the human spirit could ever hear. The trans-formative nature of this expression is beyond my own comprehension but I would love to share my simple perspective and hopefully illuminate how you can use it in your life.
Why I Care.
As a child I was always raised to treat others as I would want to be treated and I assume this was fundamental in helping develop my empathetic nature. This characteristic has helped me form powerful connections with the people I meet, most people are willing to say the trait is a blessing, I would say that learning to feel others pain without taking it on is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of my own personal evolution. The world we live in can be very heavy almost suffocating at times especially as we become more aware of the pain of others. I’m not sure the exact the time but somewhere in my teens I became conscious of the deep rooted corruption of this world, not surprisingly, I did not know how to cope with this new awareness. Once you can start to see the interconnectivity of life then you start to feel the pain and suffering of the general human consciousness, not because it is the most powerful or dominant but more because it is like a wounded child screaming for attention. Most of my late teens were spent in a blur of substance abuse designed to help dull the undisciplined empathy that was gnawing at my heart, then in my early to mid twenties I started looking at ways to “fix” the planet…… both of these failed. For someone like me that failure was an essential part of my learning process, as with most humans I learn from mistakes. At first this failure was discouraging, I took it personal, now when looking at it I can see the flaw in my logic, I thought I was apart from this world.
Heal Yourself, Heal the World
“In deep and lasting ways, when we heal ourselves we heal the world.” Mark Nepo
I understand that not everyone wants to heal the world that can be pretty intimidating but I want to start here as I believe it will help us better understand the relationship between our inner and outer worlds. The truth is to think you can fix the planet is incredibly immature, I mean who am I to say I know how things should be, I would like to think I know how good they could be but that doesn’t mean I am right. On a deeper level I can see this was just a more elaborate way of running from my emotional pain, yes that is right some times becoming so busy trying to help others is just easier than stopping to look at ourselves. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to observe our ridiculous habits, and when you are able to look at those habits without judgement is when you start to recognize the true motivation behind them. Revealing the root of your emotional pain is like finding a small child crying in the corner of your mind, hiding in fear from a violent world it doesn’t understand. Then it hits you, that wounded little human is you, not you as you are today but the you born for this world to know, before you let the opinions and actions of other make you believe that you were undeserving of acceptance. Once you see that then you just want to pick the child up hold it and say “I love you just as you are, I’m sorry I tried to change you, please forgive me for ignoring you, and thank you for not giving up on me” and as you say that to your inner child you slowly feel the pain of the world around you lessen and peace start to grow. The theory being that the pain you feel around you is really just a reflection of the pain you are feeling inside, like an open wound your past emotional trauma is hypersensitive to things that mirror your pain. As you continue to heal and comfort your inner child, you notice the world around you changing, no corruption doesn’t magically end and people still make a ton of mistakes, instead you just start to see the child inside of others and can relate to their actions better without judgement which makes it easier to live in harmony with them.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Closure has been a foreign concept for me most of my life, as far as I knew life was a culmination of loose ends and mishaps that we were doomed to repeat. Now the value of closure is starting to reveal itself to me and I can see that my previous assumption was only partially correct, closure is designed to help us grow from our mistakes so we can finally move on and make new ones. Whereas without closure we are inevitably thrown into a never ending of loop of repeated errors until we decide to sit down and digest the lesson that life is trying to teach us. We all know that finding closure is normally easier said than done, because most of the closure we are seeking involves our relationships with others, people who we might not be able to communicate directly with either because they are no longer in this realm of existence or because that person does not want know you. So finding closure in these situations becomes a little more complex, you can’t force someone to have a relationship and as far as I know nobody has successfully revived the dead in these modern times. In situations like this, the power of Ho’Oponopono shines through clearly, these words have a unique ability to help you deal with feelings of guilt that are commonly associated with relationships that meet an abrupt end. No this is not a silver bullet that will instantly help you release your pent up emotions, these words are meant to attune your inner emotional state to that of love so the emotions can exist within you without you feeling the need to judge or repress them, a necessary part of processing and growing. This is equally as valuable if you were the one that was wronged because believe it or not your unspoken resentment towards that person is just as destructive as guilt and learning to love those people as you would love your inner child makes their transgressions much less about you and more about them.
Sharing My Practice
So if you feel like this practice would benefit you I encourage you to try it, my approach is fairly unrefined but for now it meets my needs. Find a picture or a simple possession that brings up a strong emotion for the person you have the unresolved feelings towards, sit and hold it, look at it if you can, then just say Ho’Oponopono and then I even repeat it in English a few times if necessary. Yes you are likely to cry and if you are anything like me it will be big salty tears with your snotty nose running all over the place, but if you can just bear your ugly crying face and just allow it to flow out, this expression will help you feel loved while you do, so that the emotion can pass through you and stop wreaking havoc on your internal peace. There are definitely more refined approaches to this practice honed by spiritual leaders far more experienced than I, regardless if you are not able to see those people or do not desire to wade through all the fluff of internet search results then I invite you to at least start with my rudimentary practice.
Let me wrap this up with some of my more recent thoughts on this subject. The world around us is suffering from intense emotional pain, centuries of war, slavery, extreme addiction, poverty, spiritual suppression the list goes on, but when we look at it all holistically we can obviously say those are mainly symptoms of a society that has been tricked into believing our emotions and feelings have the right to dictate our lives. So now more than ever is the right time for humans to start healing our emotional wounds, that way we can comfort our inner children and better understand the hurt of those around us. Together we can begin the process of making the human spirit whole again instead of fragmented in opposition, if not for future generations, at least so we can better enjoy this amazing time that we are so lucky to witness.
Thanks for tuning in and as always you are worth More Than Gold.