Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian forgiveness and reconciliation process. It’s traditionally practiced by healing priests among family members of a person who is physically ill. It was believed that some illnesses were caused by actions. The process was meant to atone for past mistakes, which would lessen the accumulated effects of them in a person’s life, and therefore improve their health.

The Hawaiian dictionary defines ho’oponopono as a mental cleansing, or a family conference in which confession, repentance, forgiveness , prayer, discussion and restitution helped set relationships right. Ho’oponopono is taught in modern times for general physical wellness, which is beyond the original reach of its use of within families and tribes.

This is because the phrase “I’m sorry” does not mean anything unless it’s followed by a realization that a mistake was made, and it won’t be repeated. Some young children try to avoid punishment by saying “I’m sorry” any time they see disappointment their parents’ faces! This may work once or twice, but eventually, the parent catches on and it’s not enough. The phrase easy enough to say, but unless it’s followed by a genuine a change in behavior, it’s pointless.

Apologizing isn’t just a scripted phrase to utter. It’s more of a process. The phrase is only the beginning of that process. A genuine apology comes about when the offender decides to change their ways, makes a steadfast commitment to follow through, forgives themselves everyone else involved in the situation,m and then makes any amends that may be necessary. These amends could be at the spiritual level, like praying for the people that were hurt, or sending love energy, or lighting a candle in honor of them to shine light into their lives. If you can’t do something for the person that was hurt, you could try to perform some service for someone else who might need something.

Old hurts can linger for years, long after everyone involved has moved on to their next phase of life. So how can you possibly apologize to someone you can’t even locate? How are amends possible after a long alienation or hostility?

If you honestly can’t find the person you want to reconcile with, try sending loving thoughts or prayers anyways. Express your sadness over the wrong you did to them. Tell how the situation has caused you pain, and explain your wishes to take everything back. Then, don’t ever repeat that mistake.

It’s almost like a simple four-phrase mantra: “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you” Try repeating it a few times. Pay attention to how this changes the way you feel. Think about how what you are saying is influencing the energy in the universe. Everything in the universe is connected, so the energy you’re sending out will most certainly find them, and then things can be healed.

This mantra involves the concept of total responsibility. It implies that all consciousness is part of a whole, so any error that one person clears out from their own consciousness will be cleared out of everyone else’s, too.

In other words, if you correct yourself, you clear the way for other people to clear themselves, until a new reality is brought about in which people no longer suffer ill effects from past lives and past mistakes. Then, as each person each does their part, the way is made easier and easier for the next people to do so too, until we are all cleared living in that new reality.

Go ahead and give it a try. It’s easy. You could even do it right now!

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”

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