An acquaintance and colleague of mine, Elliott Robertson, contributed the piece below, which I am pleased to share with you.
In delving more deeply into Elliott’s exploration of Ho’oponopono, I am finding it to be a powerful practice in healing my relationship with Mother Earth and my kindred species.
I encourage you to discover how this practice might bring healing to various relationships in your own life, inner and outer.
I’ve been turning to Ho’oponopono frequently over the summer. For me, this prayer from the Huna lineage is healing.
The practice was popularized 15 or 20 years ago. Unfortunately, many of us were introduced to the practice as a set of words. Some of us committed the words to memory and may have repeated the four sentences of the Ho’oponopono prayer by rote from time to time, and rote prayers are usually quite shallow. It wasn’t until I started designing exercises for workshops that I discovered the power and depth of this prayer. It invites us to dive into cleansing waters.
The four sentences of this prayer are:
I love you.
Please forgive me.
The brevity of the prayer gives it a universal application. Over the years I’ve used this prayer to ask my heart to forgive me for dismissing and discounting her, and after my father passed away, I addressed the prayer to my father asking his forgiveness for some insensitive remarks from the past that I regretted. I’ve also asked the collective to forgive me for the corruption on the world stage, for Ho’oponopono invites us to take full responsibility for what we encounter.
As I write this, I’m in the middle of a 33-day practice I’ve designed for myself, a practice of giving my attention to my inner child every day and telling him I’m sorry for neglecting self-care over the years, reassuring him of my love for him, asking him for his forgiveness (he always grants it), and thanking him for forgiving me.
The prayer begins with a powerful statement. One that can help us not only tap into our feelings of sorrow, but also to take ownership for everything in our lives. When I say, “I’m sorry,” I’m admitting that I’ve been off-course and that things are askew, ugly, corrupt and messy because I’ve been living in a lower vibe. I’m admitting that things might have been more beautiful and divinely ordered if my expressions had represented the perfect love that I am in Truth. Depending on the context, I might apologize to my higher self, to the collective, to my inner child or to my heart.
I think of “I’m sorry” as coming from the sacred masculine within me as he stands in his integrity. The next sentence of the prayer may come from the nurturing divine feminine within: “I love you.” With the second sentence of the prayer, we are noticing the caring, love and tenderness that sit underneath the apology. We may experience ourselves going into a deeper state or we may find ourselves open to a greater intimacy when we say this second sentence. As with every sentence in this prayer, I sometimes find myself repeating this sentence a few times. “I’m sorry; I’m so sorry” may be followed by, “I love you; I love you; I love you; I love you.”
From there, the masculine takes the action of asking for forgiveness. Sometimes it seems appropriate to add some specificity to the request for forgiveness. Earlier today I found myself saying to my inner child, “Please forgive me for neglecting self-care.”
The receptive feminine receives the forgiveness by thanking the higher self or inner child (or whomever I’ve been in dialogue with).
I generally follow this first cycle of the four sentences with at least one or two repetitions of the prayer, and occasionally, I’ll lie down, take a few full breaths before starting, and move slowly through several repetitions.
I wonder if we as humanity are being called to take up a daily practice, a practice that will deepen within us over time and establish a safe harbor for us to turn to when we’re at the end of our tether.
I’ve always encouraged those with whom I’ve worked to focus on the personal when praying Ho’oponopono as a rule of thumb. We all have different wounds that need to be healed. While I sense a need to ask for forgiveness for the imbalances that have come about due to my placing self-care at the bottom of my list, Jane may sense a need to ask her inner child to forgive her for not trusting her intuition, and John may choose to ask for forgiveness for failing to step into his sovereignty especially around health matters.
These are a few of the things I’ve discovered as I’ve experimented with this ancient prayer. I invite you to make your own discoveries about the power of turning to Ho’oponopono. Sometimes the smallest practices can make a world of difference.
Elliott Robertson is a former staff-writer for Daily Word and a former Spiritual Growth Coach. His articles have been published in Science of Mind, Miracles, and The Embrace. You can contact him at Robertson.firstname.lastname@example.org