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Day 2 – The ancient practice of forgiveness

How did it go yesterday? Did you remember to repeat the four sentences at least three different times?

Here’s something to help remind us of this powerful habit each day:

Click here to download & print the poster

I recommend printing this and posting it as a visual reminder of the habit we are deepening this month.

One great place is by the mirror in your bathroom…

…Because it’s a private place where you can pause and reflect for a few moments.

Another great place is on your dresser or nightstand.

Those moments of transition are perfect times to re-focus the thoughts on love and forgiveness.

Now, you may be wondering: “Where did this come from?” “Why are we repeating these four simple sentences?”

Let me give you some important background:

You may already be aware of these four sentences because they were popularized by the book ‘Zero Limits’ by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len in 1992.

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you,” is essentially the modern translation of the ancient Hawaiian tradition called Ho’oponopono – a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Morrnah Simeona (1911-1992) modernized this ancient teaching and she taught it to Hew Len. She was a recognized and honored healer in the state of Hawaii.

At one point she said: The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself.”

“Ho’oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed.”

“The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.” – Morrnah Simeona

I personally haven’t studied the Ho’oponopono teachings in great depth, but when I came across those four sentences years ago, they resonated deeply within me.

I was intrigued by the stories of how Ihaleakala Hew Len actually had success healing mentally insane and violent patients without even seeing them – just by thinking these thoughts toward himself and them.

I already knew of the documented studies showing evidence that the mere thoughts of love and hate actually change the structure of water cells – either positively or negatively.

So I put my heart into incorporating those four sentences into my thoughts throughout each day.

Then I watched in awe daily as little miracles happened in my life.

Each morning in the mirror I began speaking those words to myself and every day I experienced a deep connection with my inner soul that filled me with peace

…And virtually every day caused tears of joy to flow freely.

I began thinking and feeling those thoughts intentionally and often toward other people and noticed that all of my interactions and relations with others improved.

I found myself thoroughly enjoying what were previously mundane experiences: Checking out at the post office; waiting in lines; driving down the highway.

Where previously my thoughts were easily distracted or consumed by my tasks or my ‘smart phone’…

…Now with love and forgiveness intentionally being broadcast out – simple yet profound meaning was experienced in many moments.

Peace flooded my life and I felt deep joy often.

Today, whenever I feel inner turmoil, overwhelmed, or upset – this simple humbling process never fails to turn it around.

It’s usually not easy.

It’s often extremely hard to say sorry to myself or to others.

The ego inside me doesn’t want to say sorry! It always wants to be right! It wants to look good and say, “I told you so.”

But the ego’s smug, flaunted happiness just masks its misery.

I have to remind myself that I actually want peace, happiness, and love more than the empty heart that has to pretend to be valuable by acting better than someone or something.

It’s so much easier just to love! It’s easier to just forgive! Then there are no charades or pretending.

The soul is content that lives in forgiveness and gives love freely.

So even though I can’t claim to know the depths of the ancient Ho’oponopono practice, I do know this:

Thinking those thoughts of humility, forgiveness, gratitude, and love feels amazing!

So I will continue the habit of cultivating forgiveness and unconditional love by thinking, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you,”

Keep up the practice today! At least three specific times think that phrase toward yourself and another person…

…Then think, “I love you,” toward as many people as you can throughout the day.

Check in with you how feel as you do it…and let a grateful mind and heart send you off to sleep tonight.

Make today amazing!