The Hawaiian Prayer of Ho'oponopono

Ho’ oponopono 

h’o (to make) pono (right) pono pono (doubly right)

I love you.  I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.


Ho’oponopono is derived from an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation.  The prayer or mantras are the four phrases above.

I read (ahem) actually listen to a great deal of audio books; they are my addiction, besides crystals, dance, essential oils, & vanilla lattes. One of the books I recently listened to talked a great deal about the practice of Ho’oponopono.  Now, just the phrases alone, are really quite simple and beautiful, but if you go deeper the principle of the prayer is to reconcile with all the things that are hurting, causing you fear or pain, or you perceive as negative.

The book talks about taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens to you.  The good, the bad, the completely unfair, the how-is-this-my-fault, EVERYTHING.   That can be a little hard to swallow for most of us, especially when you think about little children having diseases or when senseless things happen to good people.

To be honest I’m not sold on that concept, especially since I have a young son who was born with a Lymphatic Malformation and I truly do wonder how can that be his fault?  I actually do NOT.  If anything I think it’s probably something I did and have tons of mom guilt.

But one thing the book said is that whatever this “bad” thing in your life is or even series of  “bad things” the thing that connects them to you, is you.  You are the common denominator.  YOU have to do the clean up, no matter how unfortunate.

So that thought lead me to this thought, instead of me hating the disease, or circumstance, or any terrible thing that has happened. What about trying to take ownership of it.  Not necessarily taking the blame, but maybe more like acknowledging it, and trying to see if I can learn anything from it, maybe even communicate with it.  Just hear me out…. 

As a culture we are used to the idea of fighting a disease, fighting against injustice, stamping out hunger, hating racism, hating violence and those who perpetuate evil.  We’re not going to tolerate this or that.  It’s our natural reflex to want to arm ourselves and go into battle against that which we hate. 

This quote from Maya Angelou comes to mind, “Hate it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but not solved one yet” 

I think to myself, have we had much success hating our way out of poverty, hunger, homelessness, wars, violence, or diseases?  The only thing that cancels hate is love.  Light is the only thing that can chase away the dark. Hate has caused us to be angry, to become depressed, to take sides, to say one thing or person is better than the other, and a whole slew of negative repercussions. 

In my situation my son has this malformation that ebbs and flows. I think of it as a slightly active volcano.  Lately, it’s been showing signs of disturbance, nothing too serious, but just like a volcano we don’t really know what it’s going to do.  We wait; kind of forget about it, then all of a sudden feel the ground tremble and we hold our breath.  Do we evacuate the island or ride it out?  Do we even have an exit route?  Pretty much all fear based thoughts and actions.

After, listening to the book, I’ve decided that I don’t want to live with underlying fear.  I need to make friends with it.  Instead of wishing it would go away, or feeling terrified it’s going to explode and do something terrible to me sweet angel.  I have to talk to it, pray for it.  I need to ask it what can I learn from it.  I need to acknowledge it. 

What can it hurt? Why not try love?

Hell, I can always go back to being afraid, angry, hateful, those emotions are easy to tap into.  But right now, I am going to make the choice to change my thoughts, my approach, and my attitude.

This prayer feels right to me.  Not only for my son, but for every situation I’ve ever had where I have negative emotions or unresolved issues. 

The beautiful thing is that you don’t need the other person if you want to resolve something that happened between a person or people. You can cleanse yourself, and bring reconciliation to that relationship completely by yourself. When I say completely by yourself, it’s actually you and God, however you personally identify with God.

So with God in mind, and whatever issue I’m facing, I will say:

 I love you.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.


I am going to greet my fear with love.  That doesn’t mean I won’t get sad or angry when things happen, but with practice I can work on changing the negative energy into that of love.

“Hate it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but not solved one yet”

Let me see how many problems I can change with love.


Sending you positive energy & love,





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