I personally practice Ho’oponopono everyday. But before I got to the space where it was easy as a breath, this is what worked for me. Like all great things, including the ripening of a sweet fruit on the branch of a tree, we need, patience, guidance and grace.
According to Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., a senior Jungian analyst, in her book Women Who run with the wolves, forgiveness is a four step process. Every religious institution and spiritual organization,
People oft repeat that to forgive one must forget. So how do we go about it? Before we even begin to forget we have to forebear we must forego. The best way to get started is to take a break. Give yourself a break from that which is hurtful. Take a time out from the person or the place that has hurt you. It’s almost like taking a vacation from that which hurts. This helps us in gathering ourselves back into what feels safe. It helps us conserve energy by taking our attention away from what is unpleasant and focusing on what is pleasant. We grow stronger by focusing on what makes us happier.
It is a good practice to stay away and is the beginning of the forgiveness process. It does not mean the memory or the person or place will not show up in your realm. But do not entertain it longer than needed to move on. It is not easy but doable. The idea is to detach yourself from the issue or concern. It is also good to take on a new hobby, a passion that has been postponed for awhile – something creative, energizing anything that makes you happy, makes you smile, makes you wonder, makes you feel grateful. eg. Walking, swimming, singing, knitting…. Healing begins when we assure the wounded psyche that it will be offered healing balms now and deal with the cause of the injury later.
Once we get used to taking breaks from the hurt in long stretches, we must forebear. We abstain from punishing anyone either ourselves or the perpetrator. We do not think of it, in either small or large ways. This is very effective in containing the offense. We do not numb the pain nor are we seeking to test the waters under the bridge. But grant the situation some grace and check how it helps. Maybe something has changed with time and give it another chance. We need to be patient with ourselves and all around us and channel our emotions. Do only as much as you gone. Stop before you hurt again. Do not be resentful or hostile. Refrain from unnecessary from punishing thereby strengthening the integrity of action and soul. Practice generosity thereby allowing the great compassionate nature to participate in matters that would have earlier caused anywhere from minor irritation to violent rage.
Once we are away from the memory and have had a V-K dissociation from the event, we can refuse to dwell on the memory. By doing this we let go, we loosen hold on the memory. At times we do not realize but it is the memory which keeps reappearing and not us dragging the memory. The memory grabs a hold of us and it is called an obsessive behavior which is the opposite of that we are working with that. We consciously begin to forget and let go of the event, to not insist it stay in the foreground, but rather allow it to be relegated to the background or move off stage. A practice in ho’oponopono where we send our memory from the stage in love and light.
Conscious forgetting means refusing to summon up the energy that made us mad or sad in the past. It means not to haul up hurtful thoughts, or turn them over and over, to work oneself upby repititive thought, picture or emotion. Consciously dropping the practice of obsessing, intentionally outdistancing and losing sight and not looking back. This allows us to live in a new landscape, creating new life, new experiences to think about instead of old ones. It does not erase the memory but lays the emotion surrounding the memory to rest.
A final forgiveness is not surrender, it is a conscious decision to cease to harbor resentment. It includes not harboring resentment, and forgiving a debt, giving up the resolve to retaliate. Consciously decide when to forgive and the ritual to mark the event. Giving compassionate aid to the offending party is also a form of forgiveness. Respond from a stance of mercy, security and preparedness. This is giving up the coldness and not giving up self protection. Cease excluding the other. It is better to limit contact with that which has been forgiven than being a cold manikin in its constant presence.
Forgiveness is an act of creation. You can limit how many more chances you give anywhere from 0 to infinity – you can forgive partly or whole or none at all. Devise a blanket and you decide. The way to know you have forgiven is when you feel sorrow and not rage. You tend to have nothing left to say or remember at all. You understand the suffering that led to the offense in the beginning. You remain out of the event completely and are not waiting for anything. You are not wanting anything. There is no strings attached and you are free to stay or move on again it is your choice. It may not be a happily ever after ending but it is definitely a beginning of a fresh new “once upon a time” waiting for this day forward.