True friends and family members invest a tremendous amount of themselves in relationships, and they expect them to last forever. If these relationships end, they cling on, rehash every occurrence, and look for meaning in every word spoken. This can cause immense suffering.
An early Hawaiian forgiveness technique is most helpful to use during those times when we are at a loss as to what we can do to heal. It comes from a spiritual practice called Ho’oponopono — a ritual of forgiveness and reconciliation. Similar practices were performed throughout the Pacific islands. In Hawaii, it was originally performed by Kahunas (priests), but today it is widely practiced within families or even alone.
In Ho’oponopono, as odd as it may seem, the first thing we say in our minds to the person we're looking to forgive is, “I’m sorry.” Why say that when we’ve done nothing wrong? We are sorry to have judged the other person so harshly. We are sorry because there is sticky, unhealed energy left between us.
The next thing we say is, “Please forgive me.” We are asking to be forgiven of our judgments, our anger, our thoughts of separation. This softens our hearts.
Then finally, and in sincerity, we can say, “I love you. Thank you.”
This technique offers an entirely new way of seeing the “offending” person and ourselves. For any troublesome situation, remember to use this ancient and powerful saying:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Ho’oponopono brings about an internal shift in consciousness and causes memories to begin to fade. We forgive ourselves for any codependency, for not picking up the clues of an injured relationship. We forgive the other person, the perpetrator, for pulling away and refusing to communicate.
After repeating this phrase, it is very helpful to feel grateful for the good that was in the relationship — the happiness, the joys, the life lessons. In doing so, you'll keep your energy open and soft for the future. You don't need to come out of every painful situation with a hardened heart.
Keep blessing and letting go until you literally feel the shift inside you. As you use Ho’oponopono to process relationships that have come and gone, keep another phrase in mind: “a reason, a season, a lifetime.”