Anyhow, where was I before I became sidetracked by core wounding? And, before that, before I became sidetracked wondering about Andrew Wallas’s first wife? Oh yes, Ho’oponopono. This was the thing I was thinking about at The Pause.
This was the thing I read about in A&A’s book that struck me. It was pretty much an aside, an anecdote told in passing, but it made me wonder. I’d not heard of it before. So I looked it up and, okay, so it’s a Hawaiian spiritual healing thing. By the way, don’t you have to love the word ‘thing’? It pleases me every time I type it. Though I wish I had a thorn on my keyboard so I could spell (yes, in every way) it the Old English way. Why? Because the rune ‘thorn’ looks like a thorn and...when I went looking for a picture of it to show you, I found this (hideous picture, but hey, once you've read the whole post you'll see why this made me smile).
Anyhow. Ho’oponopono. Apparently (and do correct me if I have this wrong – I’m not Hawaiian) it comes from a verb that means to put to rights, to put in order, to shape, to correct, to revise, to amend, to tidy up. It’s about putting things straight, not by pushing at external reality but by looking within ourselves. So, if you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. And there’s only one place to look and that’s inside your own self. Yup, that makes solipsistic sense to me.
Illness, the theory goes, is caused by breaking sacred laws and can’t be cured until the transgressor atones for the transgressions. Illness is created by the stress of anger, guilt, recrimination and lack of forgiveness. Not just our own illness, but the wider illnesses of society. So we are responsible for…everything – for the terrorists, for the rapists, for the banks and the economy, for pollution and war and…everything. Ouch. But…that kinda chimes too. It puts me in mind of Arnie Mindell’s ‘world work’. It also puts me in mind of my old dear anti-guru Marek who said that you can’t heal the world; you can only heal yourself (but that that healing might, in itself, heal the world).
Anyhow. Andrew Wallas quoted the story of a Hawaiian psychologist called Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len who said he didn’t need to have consultations with the criminally insane patients in hospital; he just wanted to see their charts. He studied the charts, so the story goes, and then looked within himself to see how he created each person’s illness. And, as he improved himself, the patients improved.
Everything in your life is your responsibility. The entire world is your creation. Being conscious is about taking 100% responsibility, responsibility for everyone’s actions, not just one’s own.
Hmm, that’s a tough one, huh? Taking responsibility for the haters, for the hitters, for the abusers? Well, why not? You know what I’ve found? It’s actually a lot more comfortable to take responsibility than to harbour anger, resentment, sorrow, blame. Who wants to be a victim? Who wants to be eaten up with hate and misery?
In a world that feels like it’s spinning further and further into chaos, in a world where it’s so easy to feel hopeless, powerless, pointless, well maybe this is something small that we can all do. Maybe it’s true – maybe by clearing our own errors, we really could clear everyone. Maybe by healing ourselves, we could heal the world too. Who knows? Nobody. None of us know anything, anything for sure. So why not try?
How do you do it? It comes down to four simple phrases.
- I love you.
- I’m sorry.
- Please forgive me.
- Thank you.
You know what? It's stupidly simple but I like this. It works for pretty well everyone with whom I’ve had any kind of conflict, any kind of history. So I’ve been trying it. Meditating on a person and just repeating it, pondering it, then throwing out that love and that hope for forgiveness. And trying not to get caught up in the mind games, in the ‘yeah buts’ and the ‘but you’s’ and so on and so forth. Because mostly it’s all fiddle-faddle and, even when it’s not, what’s the point in clinging onto it? Life’s short. And, as I’ve said so many’s the time before (but need to keep remembering) Love really is the bottom line. That is all I 'know' for sure and certain.
So…I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. J