By Mary Koehler
I recently received a wonderful note from a friend congratulating me on my 24th wedding anniversary and speaking about her own experience with the Self Identity through Hooponopono process, the ancient art of Hawaiian problem solving. She wrote, what has been coming up for me recently is how we CHANGE over the years from the day we take our vows – physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. Do newlyweds have a clue? I know I didn’t. She then wrote about how practical the process was for her and how grateful she was for it.
I was struck by her description of the Hooponopono process as a practical process. The Hawaiians believe that our purpose here is to let go and allow LOVE to solve our problems. We have the opportunity with each situation to take responsibility for the problem and get out of the way. Imagine going through the day with a readiness to see each problem as an opportunity, to let go, to allow the change to happen and to see where inspiration leads us.
I chuckled remembering her words, looking at my husband and where my life has led me. I had no idea. And it seems true we have no idea the change that will happen for us in ourselves, our relationships, our families, our work, and in the world. The Hawaiians believe it is not our job to know how things should unfold it is LOVEs job, Gods job, Divinity’s job, the Creators job, the Goddesses job or whatever word you use for that. As they like to say we are only here to mend ourselves.
Self Identity through Hooponopono sees each problem not as an ordeal, but as an opportunity. Problems are just replayed memories of the past showing up to give us one more chance to see with the eyes of LOVE and to act from inspiration. Through a variety of cleaning tools the Hooponopono process allows each person to take 100% responsibility for the problem, to let go, and act from inspiration. One of the wonderful parts of this process is that it takes only one person to do it.
My husband and I come from a large family and we gather frequently with extended family. It has been interesting to me over the years how those gatherings have changed, since I’ve been using this process. Five years ago, there often seemed to be someone upset or mad about something whether it was spoken or not. I often found myself at these events wishing that others would just get along or get over it. With this process, I started taking responsibility for my thoughts, for the things that would come up at these events, and for things that I imagined might come up. And for the Hawaiians taking responsibility, meant, cleaning on each of these things.
The cleaning is all done inside. Taking responsibility is not taking the blame, or assuming I am wrong. It is a willingness to respond, to be answerable to the current memory that is running. Imbedded in each of the 60 plus cleaning tools is taking responsibility for the problem and saying, I’m sorry, please forgive me. We are saying, I’m sorry, please forgive me to the problem. Often these problems have been around for many generations. They show up to give us one more chance to release them. When we say, I’m sorry please forgive me, LOVE erases the memory, so that what is right and perfect can come in. We cannot erase problems: only LOVE can do that. Have you ever noticed how often you can ignore, hope, chastise, and get angry and irritated at a problem, but no amount of shouting, ignoring or blaming gets rid of it? Its not our job to release it: only God can do that. And if one person is willing to take responsibility for a problem, inspiration can come for all of us.
I’ve noticed our family gatherings have changed over the years. People have more fun, small irritations seem to come and go more easily and best of all for me, I’m less irritated and feel less like I wish everyone would just get along. I notice my siblings and extended family laughing more, people seem less stressed or worried about the details and we all seem to come to an agreement more easily. Did others change? Did I change? Who knows? And with the Hooponopono process, I don’t need to figure it out. I notice that I more often see my family with the eyes of LOVE. There is nothing wrong with any of my family members…I just couldn’t see them. With the Hooponopono process I have the chance to see others and myself with the eyes of God and let go of how things should be.
Unfortunately when a problem comes up, we often start thinking. We react, we think, we react, we cope, we react and think some more. Then pretty soon this small problem has built up and there is chaos. The Hawaiians see thinking as a replayed memory of the past. We cant help it. We are only where we are. The memories show up to give us one more chance to be ourselves. So with each problem we have the chance to take responsibility, let go of the thinking and begin the cleaning. We can ask the question, What is going on in me that this has shown up right now? We don’t need to figure it out. In taking responsibility we have the chance to set things right for ourselves, our children, our families and those we work with.
When a problem comes up and a memory is replaying we often don’t realize it. And the memory playing is not who we are. For the Hawaiians, who we are, is a very important question. We are perfect, made in the image and likeness of God, whole, complete, timeless. And the memories are not who we are. Have you ever had that experience of having someone remind you who you really are, and realize you are not how you are acting?
I have twins who are 15, and they are wonderful at reminding me of who I am. I was responding irritably to one of them not long ago and he looked up at me and said in a very kind way, Mom I don’t know who is talking to me right now because it doesn’t sound like you. I realized a memory was running and apologized, and thanked him. He could see that the grouchy person was not really his mom and was inspired to take responsibility and speak up.
My husband Kurt is also great at reminding me who I am. Sometimes when we are trying to make a decision on something and seem to be at cross-purposes, hell whisper in my ear very softly, Did you forget we are on the same side? All I can do is chuckle and let it go.
He reminds me that the arguing part of me is not really me. The Hawaiian process of Self Identity through Hooponopono reminds me who I am whole, complete, perfect, made in the image and likeness of love.
One of my favorite cleaning tools is the I love you. As with all the cleaning tools given in the Hooponopono process, embedded in each of the tools is taking responsibility for the problem, saying I’m sorry, please forgive me and allowing LOVE to transmute the problem. All we need to do is to have the thought I love you. I can use this tool when any problem comes up. I don’t even have to have the feeling of I love you. In fact, I find it most helpful to use when someone is really bugging me. All I need to do is have the thought I love you, and Love will erase the memory, so that what is right and perfect will flow.
Sometimes, it is necessary to use the tool several times, or for several days, or even for an unlimited time, as there may be many memories piled up to be erased. We are filled with memories of hatred, death, dying and disease, and the memories may be in our family, our ancestors or us. We have the opportunity to be set free. Can you imagine how good our children could look when the memories are not passed down and they are free to live from inspiration? What if we could let go of each problem that comes up and be in the flow? What if we didn’t have to think about what next, where the people we were hoping to see or meet just phoned us, and problems resolved themselves without our needing to do anything? Self Identity through Hooponopono is a simple, practical problem solving process that gives us that opportunity. We have the chance to be our Divine selves moment to moment and at Peace. to experience the Peace beyond all understanding.
Reprinted by permission from NETWORK IRELAND Apr-Jul 2004