Sunday, April 27, 2014

Taking 100% responsibility in Ho'oponopono: the very best way to get help

One of the main tenets in Ho'oponopono is taking 100% responsibility for everything that shows up in our lives. Yes, everything.

By nature, we balk at this -- it sounds so overwhelming!

After all, how can we be personally responsible for earthquakes, tsunamis, atrocities of war, or for other countries' starving children?  What about African elephants being killed, just for their ivory?  What about people who lie and steal from us -- and lovers who abuse, have affairs, or leave us?

You get the picture.  Think of the most recent outrage in your life, and just fill in the blank.

One reason the idea of 100% responsibility seems overwhelming is a follow up question: If I'm responsible for everything, does that mean I have to fix everything?  All by myself?

No, it doesn't . . . . but as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often asks, "Have you noticed that whenever there's a problem, you are always there?"  :-)

He's not really saying that we directly did anything to harm anyone.  But it's always US perceiving things as "problems," with our mental filters, opinions, and judgments.  We look at other people and think THEY ought to change, when WE'RE the constant factor in our [mis]perceptions.  We can't help but bring our own views and patterns into every relationship and circumstance, yet we don't even know we're doing it.

It's easy to get stuck here, and feel badly for all the "gunk" we're bringing in.

But in Ho'oponopono, being 100% responsible does not mean being 100% at fault or bad.  Instead, it means that we simply have the ability to respond in every situation.  And we can choose our response.

One path leads to overwhelm: trying to fix everything on our own.

Another path is to allow Divinity to help. In Ho'oponopono, this path is called "cleaning."  By using Ho'oponopono cleaning tools, we acknowledge that erroneous data or memories are running us and showing up as problems in our lives.  We can say, "I'm sorry for being unconscious, dear Divinity -- please forgive me.  Thank you for the opportunity to let go of this [data] now.  I love you."

It seems insanely simple -- too simple to possibly have any effects in our outer world.  And yet when we give permission by using the above process, Divinity can work behind the scenes to transmute the faulty data to pure light.  We are restored to our natural perfection, or returning to the "zero" state from whence we came. Then mana (life energy) and Divine Inspiration can enter us -- showing us what we can do next.  We can follow that inner direction.

We can continue choosing in every moment to use these tools to clean up our lives -- or not.  In fact, making such choices in each moment is the biggest responsibility we have. 
We can struggle and stew, or we can recognize the "problem" for what it is: an opportunity to let go.

Some problems, like the long-term one I wrote about last week, simply dissolve through using this process.  Others might not seem outwardly to respond for a long time, but we never know what's happening at levels we can't see.  Only Divinity knows that.

So very counterintuitively, taking 100% responsibility is the very best way to get reliable assistance with any problems we have.  Would you rather tangle with things all on your own, or allow Divinity to help?  What if the "problem" is not what we think it is at all?

I know which of these choices I'm picking -- at least when I'm grounded and calm.  Please, somebody remind me the next time I get off kilter and forget.  We humans can be pieces of work!

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, April 19, 2014

From human suffering to divine peace, through Ho'oponopono

Many have written me asking for proof that Ho'oponopono "works."  Maybe they're looking for controlled, double-blind studies that do not exist; maybe they're just seeking hope that something they choose to do can truly improve their lives.

I've been practicing Ho'oponopono now for almost 10 years, and have experienced both times of peace and inner turmoil with it. Fortunately my teacher Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has always been a timely example and guide. He has laughed, cajoled, goaded, offered useful metaphors, and held compassion during my journey.  

This past week something happened that I can only attribute to Ho'oponopono -- being willing to clean even though seeing no outward "results."  I want to share about this here, because it's extremely meaningful to me.  It may also provide some hope for you, if wondering about outward effects of this practice. Yet I also want to protect the other person's privacy. 

I lost a profoundly important relationship many years ago -- through hurt, self-righteousness, and not knowing what else to do.  What began as a loving partnership lasting some 15 years, had devolved into a pattern of disengagement and painful silence.  We had weathered extreme changes in our personal lives and careers, yet had forgotten how to laugh together, support each other, and share simple human affection.  Love got buried under piles of resentment.  

He moved on, but I continued a close relationship with his parents.  In terms of personal support and authentic sharing of life, they were more my parents than those to whom I was born. The time spent with them was sheer grace in my life.  How I even came to live so close to them was a miracle in itself.  (A story for another time, maybe).

For many years I remained embroiled in my anger and hurt though, focusing on how I was "right" to feel the way I did. Despite this, I missed his presence deeply.  From time to time I wrote to him, seeking some explanation for what had happened.  There was never a reply. I worked on myself, eventually owning where I felt I had hurt him.  Still no response.  Over 10 years elapsed.

When his parents both became ill with different cancers, I helped take care of them.  He lived across the country and didn't respond to my communications about their treatments or progress.  I felt devastated to be losing them, and knew he must be feeling something similar.  Yet there was still no communication back from him towards me. 

They passed away in 2004, not long before Ho'oponopono came into my life.  My working with this ancient Hawaiian practice was slow at first, since I knew only bits and pieces of it.  Meeting Dr. Hew Len opened a huge gateway of growth for me -- along with accepting 100% responsibility for my own behavior and "stuff."  With this, my life began to utterly change.

Whenever I would think of this man I had lost [which was often], I would say within: "I love you. Thank you for being in my life. I'm sorry. Please forgive me."  I wasn't really speaking to HIM with those words, but was speaking to the part of me which saw him as anything other than perfect.  This view was a very  heavy and painful burden on me.

According to Morrnah Simeona (who updated Ho'oponopono for modern times), we are all perfect. Only accumulated [unconscious] data obscures our views of ourselves and others.  Using Ho'oponopono cleaning tools and phrases allows our inner child to let go of the data or memories which lead to our painful experiences.  Divinity can then transmute whatever of these are ready to "go" -- allowing divine inspiration to fill the space now "cleaned."  I'm sure layers and layers of "ick" were coming off of me (and perhaps him too?) over those years.  My hurt and feelings of deep unworthiness were lifting also.  Still through most of it, there was no outward sign that much was shifting.

Except that over the past year, I've lost about 45 pounds. More to come, with that.  :-)

Last month sometime, I saw a video which for me encapsulated the profound connections between people -- even after you no longer see them in person.  It moved me, and Inspiration urged me to send it to him.  It reminded me of him, his parents, his sister, and all the times we had previously shared. So I wrote him briefly about this, with no expectations.  The silence on his end continued, and I continued to clean.  Weeks passed. 

And then just last week, he gave a presentation in my town.  I didn't know he was coming.  But he emailed me, and invited me to dinner.

Reading this message from him, time stood still for me.  I wept at my computer keyboard, between patients!  Recovering a bit, I wrote back to accept . . . still in wonder that he would reach out to me at all -- after some 25 years.

When I saw him again, all I felt was love, with none of the previous hurt.  We shared an evening where he talked, and I listened (and cleaned).  I spoke some, but without the need to justify myself. Instead, I could be myself just as I was.  We apologized to each other, face to face.  We enjoyed a nice meal together.  We laughed.  Since then, we've messaged each other several times, and I can be a support to him in what he's going through.  I see all this as the most profound personal "proof" I know that Ho'oponopono brings peace, reconciliation, and ability to be what we truly are.  The previous painful history mentioned above no longer "hooks" my life, and I am free.

Thank you to Dr. Hew Len, Morrnah Simeona, Ho'oponopono and dear Divinity for my new life.  Also, thank you to Fred and Sweet Lorraine (below). I love you.

Peace begins with me,