Ho’oponopono: An Ancient Hawaiian Path to Forgiveness

By Kendra Miller

For many, the new year is a perfect time to make resolutions, set goals and incorporate significant changes in their lives. It’s a clean slate, a fresh start.

A great way to wipe the slate clean and start the new year with an open heart is by letting go of grudges, anger and resentment. According to the Mayo Clinic, embracing forgiveness for yourself and others can lead to healthier relationships, improved mental health, less stress and physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, improved heart health and a stronger immune system.

If you struggle with the concept of forgiveness, you may find guidance in the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono (pronounced Ho-oh-Po-no-Po-no). According to lifestyle website Grace and Lightness, the word ho’oponopono roughly translates to “cause things to move back in balance” or to “make things right.” It is a chant that acknowledges wrongdoing, requests forgiveness, practices gratitude and promotes love for yourself and others in four simple phrases.

The Ho’oponopono chant: “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.”

Below are the components of the chant and how they each work to help cleanse yourself of guilt and shame and encourage forgiveness of self and others.

I’M SORRY

The first step is to acknowledge there has been wrongdoing and recognize remorse for the negative event, regardless of responsibility. The important part of this step is to realize that it does not matter who is at fault. You can apologize for holding onto the negative emotion whether it be guilt, shame, anger or resentment, or letting it affect who you are.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME

The next step is a deeper level of step one – asking for forgiveness. It doesn’t matter from whom you are asking forgiveness – it could be your inner self, a spiritual being or the universe. Feel the power of forgiveness and repentance. You can say it as many times as you need to. Mean it when you say it.

THANK YOU

This step is showing gratitude for experiences that make us who we are, for life and love and for the ability to let go of negativity, guilt and shame. Feel gratitude for everything you have.

I LOVE YOU

Finally, project unconditional love inwards and outwards. Let it heal you and let it heal your heart. Love is a very powerful emotion.

This practice is simple but amazingly effective. You can incorporate this chant into a meditation practice, listen to it on repeat as you fall asleep or simply recite it in your head during the day.

As you go into the new year, use Ho’oponopono to let go of those grudges or guilt from the previous year by saying “sorry,” asking forgiveness from yourself, practicing gratitude and projecting love.

This practice is simple but amazingly effective. You can incorporate this chant into a meditation practice, listen to it on repeat as you fall asleep or simply recite it in your head during the day.

As you go into the new year, use Ho’oponopono to let go of those grudges or guilt from the previous year by saying “sorry,” asking forgiveness from yourself, practicing gratitude and projecting love.

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