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How to Find Peace Through Forgiveness

Gain wisdom and let go of the baggage holding you back.

Source: Coompia77/iStock

One of my teachers at our Hawaiian workshop had a beautiful saying about forgiveness; “To forgive and to never forget is to never forgive in the first place.” Simply put, you’ve sometimes got to let go of what happened in order to begin to move forward. Letting go can be the most difficult part. There is an ancient Hawaiian forgiveness process called Ho’oponopono that makes the process feel easy.

Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian word. Ho’o, means to make. Pono means right. The Hawaiian word pono doesn’t mean, “I’m right, you’re wrong.” It means you have congruency – an unwavering congruency. For example, when you’re pono with someone, there is nothing else to be said. You’re done with it. If you’re over something and you’re pono with it, you don’t bring it up again.

In this idea of forgiving and forgetting, you don’t forget what happened, you forget the negative aspects of what happened, and you retain the wisdom. The Hawaiians have a term called, "Ano'ai." Ano is seed. Ai means to eat, or to bring it within. Within every situation in life, there is a seed that comes from that lesson. In every experience, there is a deeper lesson. If you bring that seed within, you learn from it and you move forward.

The biggest stumbling block to people gaining forgiveness is that they think that by letting it go, it somehow lets someone off the hook. There are some people that say, “I am not going to forgive that person because…” One of my students in Los Angeles actually said, “I am not going to forgive my ex because he needs to suffer a little bit more.” I remember looking at her from the stage and asking her in a very simple and gentle way, “How does you holding on to your baggage make him suffer?” She looked up at me and said, “Yeah, it doesn’t, but I don’t want to be friends with him anymore.” I explained that it doesn’t mean you have to be friends, it means you’re done with the baggage, you can be done with that person, and you can move on.

Of all the techniques I teach, this one is near and dear to my heart. Ho’oponopono is the Hawaiian forgiveness process that teaches you how to not just be more forgiving of yourself, but also how to be more forgiving of other individuals - how to gain resolution and gain closure. I personally practice Ho’oponopono on a daily basis and have been for over 30 years.

Ho’oponopono can be done with three different types of individuals. The first one is someone who has wronged you. That is the more traditional approach. The technique is used to help you overcome baggage with someone who has crossed over a boundary.

There was a guy that I used to work with that I don’t work with anymore. We had a difference in values and when I let him go, I gave him a hug at the end and I said, “You know, let’s still talk.” He said, “Can we still be friends?” And I was like, “Yes.” I did Ho’oponopono and it allowed me to be free of the baggage and to be able to approach him in a kind way, yet still enforce my boundaries.

The second type of person is someone you love. This one is not talked about very much, oddly enough. Because you love them, and you want to re-connect and strengthen that bond, the idea is to forgive, gain forgiveness, disconnect to reconnect and strengthen that connection. I have helped dozens and dozens of married couples over the past few years go through the process and shift their relationship with each other using Ho’oponopono.

The third type of person this can be done with is someone who you have lost. Someone who is no longer with you. So that you can be free of any of the sadness and let that person live on in your memories.

My daughter went through something when she was five that I have no comprehension of what that could be like. She lost her best friend to leukemia when she was in kindergarten. As a parent, to have to tell your kid that they just lost their best friend and then watch your child lose it spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically is a humbling moment, to say the least. She stopped sleeping. She started having eating issues because with the leukemia came a lot of complications with food, and her small group of friends began to believe that it was the food that made their friend pass away. They all began to have sleep issues and eating disorders. It was my son who finally got through to her. He slid across the counter one morning, gave her a big hug while she was crying at breakfast and said, “Let Dad help. He teaches this stuff.” He shared a very personal story with her how it has helped him in his life to overcome huge fears.

She was able to open up and she said, “Daddy, explain this to me.” I explained and went through the Ho’oponopono process with her. A few keys parts of the process are drawing down energy, healing yourself up, and healing the other person up. One of the last steps is cutting a connection. My daughter was not ready to cut. She said, “I’m not ready, Daddy. I’m not ready to do this.” It took a couple of days of talking with her, sharing with her, having her experience it with other people, and she finally did it. She began to sleep better. She began to eat better.

I receive a lot of questions asking about themselves and if there is a separate technique for that but the basic concept of Ho’oponopono is how to gain forgiveness with yourself and with others. We teach this. We teach Ho’oponopono at all of our Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) trainings and often provide during our webinars.

I know that this technique, and I say it very humbly, saved my daughter’s life and thousands of other people’s. There is a lot of pain in this world and I am grateful to be able to share a way to heal from it and find peace.

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

To your TOTAL empowerment!


Dr. Matt

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