Exploring Mana, the pure energy of Love that holds this world together. This infuses all our lives, and brings forth healing, creativity, and beauty.
"It [Mana] is a living, breathing essence that the wise can pluck from the air at will and then like a master artist, mold it into something beautiful."
-- Syd Banks, "Second Chance"
The power of "I am sorry"
Certain words -- or lack of them -- can profoundly affect our lives. Three in particular, "I am sorry", are huge even though very short. They can make the difference between estrangement and healing in relationships.
And yet many people resist saying these words, which are part of the Ho'oponopono process. Some say they fear opening the door to undeserved guilt and recriminations, or resent the implication that they could have made an error. Maybe in the given circumstance they are "right", but there is always a cost. There are many other reasons these three words are difficult for many.
This week's issue of Newsweek magazine carries a wonderful "My Turn" story by Janice Wilberg, showing the results of "I am sorry" in her life.
After years of silence between my parents and me, my father reached out with a few simple words.
When I was growing up, my family had its own way of dealing with disagreements. We stopped speaking. Sometimes the deep freeze lasted a day, sometimes a week. Every once in a while, an offending cousin or aunt was simply erased from the family landscape, airbrushed out of our lives like a deposed member of the Politburo.
I stopped talking to my parents after a series of family difficulties culminating in an angry phone conversation with my mother in 1988. This communication blockade continued to 2000. Other than an annual Christmas card from my parents, which they warmly signed using only their last name, there was no interaction whatever for 12 years.
People like me who were raised in a grudge-holding culture know that the silent treatment is self-perpetuating. The longer you are silent, the longer you will be silent. The further out into the ocean you sail, the harder it is to see the harbor. After a year or two or three, it's not so easy to pick up the phone and just chat.
And then my father sent me a card in which he wrote three very powerful words: "I'm so sorry."
We began to write letters. I told him about his grandchildren. He told me about his weekly golf and bowling outings. He also told me about my mother's Alzheimer's. Every letter matter-of-factly mentioned a new loss, always preceded by the phrase "Mom is about the same," as in "Mom is about the same but she can't cook anymore because she forgot how to use the stove."
The letters represented rapprochement but not reconciliation. That would have to happen in person. A year later it did. On the six-hour drive to their home, I asked my husband every 10 minutes what I should say to parents I hadn't seen in 12 years. "Say hello," he said. "Ask what's new."
This is pretty much what I did as we sat down to the supper of turkey loaf and instant mashed potatoes that my father put on the table almost the moment we walked in the door. Over supper, he briefed me on deaths, births and family estrangements. By dessert we were caught up. Over the next two years, I visited frequently.
Had I waited any longer to reconcile with my mother, she would not have known who I was, or cared that I had returned. As it was, I had a chance to apologize, to go on walks with her, to admire her purple velvet wedding dress from 1937 and to have many other turkey-loaf suppers. As her Alzheimer's progressed she became argumentative, then mute and, worse for my father, incontinent. He asked me not to visit during this time, and his terse letters chronicled more and more serious "Mom is about the same" news.
Months later, she died. I came as soon as my father called to help him with funeral plans. I sat with him as he typed out my mother's death notice on his ancient Royal typewriter. We picked out the clothes she would be buried in: a print shirt, slacks and the locket he'd given her when they were engaged 64 years before. We sat next to each other on folding chairs at the small-town cemetery and watched my mother's casket lowered into the ground.
Eighteen months later, my father died. During that time we had many more visits—nights out at the local Chinese restaurant with his grandchildren, hearing his stories about the Depression, about playing in jazz bands and running a five-and-dime store. We talked about my mother and his grief. He told me about taking an urn full of artificial flowers to the cemetery. He liked making my mother's grave prettier.
Every year I visit the cemetery where my parents are buried. I tend the hostas I planted to replace my father's artificial flowers and scatter thistle seeds to attract the finches they loved to watch. When I leave, I kiss the top of their headstone. I say goodbye and I feel happy. I feel part of my family.
The irony doesn't escape me. Here I am tending the grave site of parents whom I iced for 12 years. Oddly, I don't feel regret. I feel grateful. My father's three words saved me from being an orphan. Maybe there are other members of the grudge-holding culture who might listen to my story and make the move. It's not too late.
This is a very brief video conversation with Morrnah Simeona and Dr. Ihaleakala Lew Len. Morrnah passed into spirit in Germany, in 1992. The sincerity in both of them comes through for me. Morrnah became known for "updating" the ancient Ho'oponopono process of correcting errors and making things right, for modern times. She termed her method "Self-I-dentity Through Ho'oponopono." They speak of allowing Divinity to help each of us heal ourselves and our relationships through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation -- the last of which, only Divinity can do. They point out that Divinity created us, not any other person. The traditional Ho'oponopono process involved an entire group of people, moderated by an elder who might make suggestions to dissipate family conflict. Here, Morrnah explains that her amendments rely on each person's bonding directly with Divinity, rather than relying on any other human to solve his or her problems. Further, she
This past weekend marked a first for me, but more importantly for Ho'oponopono. Not only was this my first time to help staff a training seminar, but it was also the first time that " Health Ho'oponopono: Basic I and Your Health " has ever been offered. Over 2 days Kikikipa Kretzer, PhD presented basic principles and processes of Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono as developed by Kahuna Lapa'au Morrnah Simeona -- and also focused on using these processes with health concerns. Dr. Kretzer shared cleaning tools and ways of responding to health issues, when these are the opportunities that arise. Memories can manifest or express in our lives in all kinds of ways, including health conditions like hypertension, heart disease, depression, cancer, etc. Ho'oponopono sees these as opportunities to "clean" as much as any other. We had a small, intimate group of people who traveled to Colorado Springs from all over. One woman drove 18 hours straight to get
Many people think that in order to do Ho'oponopono properly, we must direct our cleaning efforts towards particular problems that arise in our lives. Examples might be traffic jams, financial crises, health issues, or arguments with family members. I used to think this too. Thus, I wanted to know specifically how to "clean" with whatever problem was happening, when it was happening. What particular process or tool should be used for each? More importantly, I wanted to know exactly "what" I was cleaning with at any particular time -- in order to pick the right tool, of course. And if I was doing it well enough, the problem should clear up, right? :-) I must have thought my intellectual mind was in charge of things, even though I had many times read Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's article, "Who's in Charge?" . From that article: "Memories replaying dictate what the Subconscious Mind experiences. The Subconscious Mind