The ancient Hawaiian tradition of Ho'oponopono, especially as reimagined by Ihaleakala Hew Len and publicized by Joe Vitale, is an exercise in Total Responsibility. In other words, the practitioner takes ultimate responsibility for every single thing that happens in his life, whether it is perceived to be caused by him or by an outside circumstance. The idea here is, if it appears in your life, you must have invited it through your thought, emotion, or action, or it would not appear in your experience at all. This is a common thread in all Law of Attraction teachings, and psychologically, it bears some weight as well. How we experience everything that we experience depends greatly on our point of view of the experience.
The way in which someone practicing Ho'oponopono (which in Hawaiian means "to put to rights; to put in order, correct, amend, rectify") deals with this great responsibility actually involves forgiveness and acceptance. "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "I love you" and "Thank you" are expressions of these feelings, and are used extensively in the process. Hew Len is known as the psychologist who made such an impact on a hospital psych ward by saying things like "I'm sorry" and "I love you" that over time, patients began acting and feeling better, to the point where the ward itself was eventually shut down because so many patients had been released. And the truly amazing part of all this? He never visited the ward. He looked at patients' charts and records, and said the mantras TO HIMSELF, finding those parts of his own psyche that could relate to the patient he focused on. In healing himself, in other words, he healed the world around him. This is a true and documented story, and can be found here.
Ah, hard to see, the Dark Side is.These last few weeks, I have been drawn into the Dark Side. My ego became strong, through arrogance, alcohol, and self-indulgence. Luckily, I noticed the change; my outside world became less tolerable, more aggravating. My "external forces" seemed to be turning against me, which put me on the defensive. And my own sense of self-awareness was quietly (as it only can) chiding me, "this is not who you are, you know...." Thankfully, I could still quiet my mind enough to hear it.
The ancients knew that the outside world reflects the one within, like a projection onto a screen. My world was reflecting a deeply negative image, which of course I had been creating, in my selfishness and arrogance. To heal, I must forgive myself.
This is a really hard thing for many people, including myself, to do. Forgiving others seems easy, but how many times have YOU said the words: "I'd never forgive myself if...?" Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness. But it does require LETTING GO. I've never been good at that, personally. But it is one of the greatest things one can learn; when I have been able to fully release a thought or an emotion or even a physical thing or person from my life, my life has always instantly become more beautiful, more peaceful, and more promising.
So, to anyone I may have annoyed, offended, or angered these past few weeks, (whether you read this or not) I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. And much more importantly, to those of you who have annoyed, offended, or angered ME, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. And finally, to myself, who annoys and is annoyed, who offends and is offended, who angers and is angered, to myself I say, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
When I forgive myself, I become free to forgive others. When I love myself, I am free to love others. All are one. We are expressions of the One Being, manifesting as many individual beings. The Golden Rule is an attempt to show people this Truth by experience. Love one another as you would be loved, because you and the other are in fact, One. Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, you do TO YOURSELF. Jesus' teachings (among many others) point to this constantly, and to make it easier to understand and accept, they externalize the Oneness into the figurehead of God and/or Christ, because most people, trapped in ego identity, cannot comprehend the vastness of such an idea as collective Oneness. I myself forgot it while in the grip of my Inner Sith (my ego). But thankfully, it takes only a moment of awareness to make a shift.
Try to forgive yourself whenever you feel not-good. You'll be surprised at the result, if you succeed.