Ho'oponopono cleanup: is it REALLY my responsibility?

I was reviewing some events in my life recently and noticing certain patterns that recur over and over again. How easy it is to overlook my part in things, just like the regal cat above!

He looks so relaxed, and he's got a good story to explain the mess (those fighting paper towels, indeed!) -- as if there is no relation to him whatsoever.

Moments before, he might have been a tornado of flailing claws and kicking feet. Perhaps he was just playing, or practicing long-submerged hunting instincts. The result is shredded paper towels all over the floor. Just how did they get there, hmmmmm???? He surveys his tattered domain in seeming puzzlement.

Entire lives can be like that.

One of the fundamentals of Ho'oponopono, though, is taking 100% responsibility for everything that appears in our lives. Everything.

I don't know about you, but sometimes things show up in MY life that I'd rather not claim. Much easier to ignore them, or shuffle them over to somebody else's pile. Or, I can throw an adult tantrum with God, declaring it wasn't ME who brought that angry patient into my office, made a good friend stop talking to me, or blew a tree down in my yard.

The concept that these events DO, in fact, have something to do with me has taken some getting used to.

It is a tedious process, requiring gentleness at the same time. Without this, the call to take 100% responsibility can result in extreme guilt and shame for all the "stuff" that shows up. If I'm responsible for all THAT, I must be a pretty bad person . . . or so the memories try to make me think. This can be so painful it makes me want to stop cleaning, because I don't want to see all those shredded paper towels in my life as "mine."

I may want to look at them and complain that they're there, instead. That's my attempt at avoiding guilt and pain.

But what if the guilt and shame are unneccessary? What if these events and people are only showing up because it's now the perfect time to clean with them? Then each perturbing mess can be an opportunity to re-connect with Divinity -- more of a "woo-hoo!" than a "not again . . . . . "

At the moment my house is full of such opportunities, in the form of disorganized papers and messy items that can't seem to file themselves. I could get so severe and punitive with myself that I have to stay in bed and do nothing -- not even use my cleaning tools.

Or I could say, "I love you, dear messy papers and incompleted work! Thank you for mounding up so bountifully, reminding me the moment I come in my house! Please forgive me for neglecting you. I'm sorry for whatever memories in me have led to your accumulation right now." With this kind of attitude, it's just a mess that needs tending with love and care, rather than something so incriminating I need to avoid it.

This makes all the difference to me, because it allows emptiness enough ("zero" state) for inspiration to come through regarding the best way to do things.

So, step number one: I'm off to buy some new paper towels, all in one piece! Hopefully the cat will behave this time. :-)

Thank you, dear Divinity, for all these piles of blessings. They're mine, even the ones I think I don't want. I know nothing about it; thank you for reminding me they're simply here to clean. I love you.

Peace begins with me,

PS: Mabel Katz is offering a special Ho'oponopono Question and Answer session Thursday, 12/17/09 that you can listen to from anywhere. For more information, please click here.


Kringle said…
You have a very interesting blog as I've often contemplated the truism that we aren't 100% responsibile for everything in our lives (i.e. my brother's tragic death via epileptic seizure due to med imbalance) but that we do have personal responsibility for some things, the good Lord we can pray to and responds in certain ways, and perhaps too there is fate and chance.. yet we do have choice in our responses... something I am rethinking of late. ... It is about creating the reality we want to live in given what we have. ... Thanks for your post
Pam Pappas MD said…
Dear Kringle,

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry for whatever is going on in me that your brother had seizures and died. Thank you for making me aware that this is in me, so I can clean the memories in me that we share. You would not have written me otherwise.

Peace to you,
Abby Caplin said…
Thank you, Dr. Pam, for the reminder, as I look at my messy stacks of papers. It seemed my entire house had a "temper tantrum" this month, needing lots of repair (leaky roof, pipes, walls, electronics that didn't work). It really needed my attention.

Unknown said…
As always Pam, I really enjoy your articles, keep up the good work! Rob Blotske Rifle, Co
Here is is...3/21/12 (first day of spring) and I come upon your blog. I wonder if in 2009, you could realize that this particular post on your specific blog would provide me with the answer I needed? I've been cleaning for days and feeling depressed and guilty. But, as you can see, Divinity provided your insights---right on time. Thank you, Dr. Pappas, I love you.
Pam Pappas MD said…
Happy Spring to you, dear Stephanie.

Thank you for your message, and for your Ho'oponopono cleaning!


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