By nature, I am a loner, and loneliness is usually a product of my own making. That’s not to say that I walk through my days in a state of perpetual loneliness. Indeed not, that would be an inaccurate depiction of my situation. In fact, I am rarely lonely.
I spend most of my time reading, writing and researching. All of these keep my mind occupied and leave very little room to be lonely. I also have three distinctive voices in my head most of the time – Catharine, Evelyn and Stefano – my muses and animus. They are constant companions unless I am medicated.
I’ve come to realize that it is not easy for others to be around someone who is a natural loner and introvert, and who is awkward around people like I am. I am sure that past friends and lovers have probably felt loneliness in my presence. One friend did express that to me once and it still pains me that I caused her loneliness. I can easily apologize for it, but unfortunately, I cannot change these aspects of myself without causing great harm to my psyche. For me, there is no faking it – trying to be “out there” and engaged with others on a large scale (small scale, maybe) – because doing so would cause me great suffering – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Every now and again, loneliness will wash over me. Sometimes it is just a gentle whoosh around my toes as I am reminded of a long-lost friend or lover, but other times it is a huge wave that drags me under and carries me off to sea as I feel the emptiness and abandonment of the past. Years ago, either of these could have left me depressed, ranging from a few days to weeks and months. Now, I allow the lonely moments to come and go, acknowledging them, but not inviting them in for tea.
A little over a year ago when I first discovered Ho’oponopono on Youtube, the only teachers were Joe Vitale and Dr. Hew Lin (the original teacher). Within the past seven months, two others have uploaded videos to Youtube teaching it. They are Mabel Katz and Jonathan Parker. I haven’t listen to them yet. I prefer to go to the source, which is Dr. Hew Lin. I like Joe Vitale’s teachings. He brought Dr. Lin’s Ho’oponopono to the masses and worked along side him to write a book.
So why bring this up under Inspired!? The simple answer is, Ho’oponopono is inspiring. We live in a world torn apart these days by an Us/Them mentality. It is crashing in on top of all of us, regardless of where we live. We all need some healing and Ho’oponopono can give us that. Ho’o (just going to call it that now since the word is so long to write and I am sick and lazy) teaches us to take responsibility, for our actions and others’ actions as well. Through it’s practice, you learn forgiveness and gratitude.
The practice can be a simple meditation (not sanctioned by Dr. Lin or Vitale, but one I found online last year):
get comfortable – lie down on your back or sit with feet planted on the floor, shoulders back
close your eyes and take a few deep cleansing breaths
inhale deeply through the nose and say (outwardly or internally), I love you
exhale through the mouth and say, I’m sorry
inhale deeply through the nose and say, Please forgive me
exhale through the mouth and say, Thank you
Rinse and repeat for as long as you wish to be in a meditative state, or feel the need to continue saying the words (I would do this as I fell asleep at night and would awaken the next morning with the words still in my thoughts)
Some have asked, who are you speaking to during this meditation? It can be God, Gods, Yahweh, Allah, the Buddha, Your Higher Self, the Great Spirit, the Universe, the Great Cosmic Hoo-Haa – do you get the picture that the practice itself is non-religious, but because you are practicing it, it becomes deeply rooted in whatever religion or philosophy (or lack thereof) that you follow? Powerful, huh? *smiles*
Why do you need to apologize? Because we all make mistakes and we need to collectively be humbled by those mistakes and speak that we are genuinely sorry for them. This is part of taking on the mantle of responsibility, your own and others.
What if you have nothing to ask forgiveness for? For instance, you just went to confession and bore your soul to your priest. Do you still need to ask for forgiveness? The answer is yes. This is a collective forgiveness. You aren’t just asking to be forgiven for yourself, but for the entire world.
And finally, you open your heart to Gratitude, to be thankful to whomever you pray to, even to your Higher Self. It’s been scientifically proven that those who express gratitude on a daily basis are happier people. They’ve tapped into the collective consciousness of others and the Universe as a whole.
So, what is the end-game for doing Ho’o? You don’t have to target any specific area for forgiveness, just speak the words, Please forgive me. This allows you to be responsible for yourself and everyone around you, and to be grateful.
I can attest to how powerful this practice is. I’d been estranged from my husband for over a year. Our marriage had crumbled and I’d moved from OK back to VA where I was born and lived prior to meeting him. The relationship involved emotional and physical abuse. He is a narcissist and I had 4 mental illnesses of my own to deal with. After I moved back home, I cut all ties with him, but it gnawed at me, the hatred I felt toward him. I blamed him for most of the failure.
I began the Ho’o practice. I did it nightly for months. As my heart opened to forgiveness and gratitude, I began to realize that we were both at fault. The first thing I did was forgive myself – for the painful marriage and my part in its failure. Then, I wrote to him, forgave him, admitting my own failures too. He was surprised by both my forgiveness and admittance. Finally, he admitted his parts in our failure, something narcissists rarely ever do. I had taken on both of our failure, asked forgiveness for them and expressed my gratitude for the both of us with this simple practice. I honestly believe that as my heart healed, so did his without his participation. That’s the power of Ho’o. My husband and I are now back to being the wonderful friends we were before the marriage began. And although we are no longer in love with one another, we do love one another.
Here is a video of Joe Vitale explaining Ho’oponopono:
And if you want to hear Dr. Hew Lin speak about it, check out this series of videos