Wow, what timing! I found this handout from one of my doctors this morning. It describes Joe Vitale’s interview with Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len that describes ho’oponopono with more detail (from Vitale’s book Zero Limits):
Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life—simply because it is in your life—is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.
Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life.
This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy—anything you experience and don’t like—is up for you to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to change them, you have to change you.
I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho’oponopono means loving yourself. If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone—even a mentally ill criminal—you do it by healing you.
I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients’ files?
“I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,” he explained.
Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.
Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent me advice about how to live my life. This time, I decided to try Dr. Len’s method. I kept silently saying, “I’m sorry” and “I love you.” I didn’t say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.
Within an hour I got an email from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t take any outward action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him back. Yet, by saying “I love you,” I somehow healed within me what was creating him.
In short, Dr. Len says there is no out there. Suffice it to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there’s only one place to look: inside you. And when you look, do it with love.