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Self-Forgiveness: The Willing Release into Harmony


     I remember the first time I heard about the Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness and reconciliation, Ho’oponopono.  A prayer that admits fault, asks forgiveness, and expresses gratitude and love.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you. I remember the teacher, I was watching at the time, recommending repeating this prayer over and over again in order to release trauma and wounding around all damaging situations.  I can remember being so damn triggered!  Why would I be admitting wrong doing in a situation in which I felt wronged, or thanking the perpetrator of that situation for making me have that experience?!  Of course, fast forward to present day and I can see the beauty of this simple, but powerful prayer.  While this prayer does allow forgiveness of the ‘other’, it is really about forgiving yourself, thanking yourself for the ability to survive the unbearable, and showing love, care, and nurturance to yourself for the appreciation of the lessons and wisdom gained from these experiences.

     I am bringing this topic up today because recently I have been re-visiting past toxic situations that for a time had a very powerful hold over my life.  Specifically, I had a very toxic 13-year relationship with my former boss, a covert narcissist.  As an empath, this relationship was especially damaging, ruining my health, isolating me from others, and making me question my worth.  The empath/narcissist relationship is one of symbiosis.  Although from my perspective many of the so-called experts in this field ignore one key element when discussing this relationship and the steps to take in order to protect yourself.  You see the empath has such a big, beautiful heart, and they can see that beautiful divine spark in everyone, even the ones who repeatedly hurt them.  There is always the hope that you can wake that person up to their true divinity.  It is a very hard lesson to learn that the narcissist only wishes to take your supply of light, like a drug, they always need a hit of your energy. Ultimately, the only way to stop the damage from this relationship is to completely walk away, and if that is not possible, limit contact as much as you possibly can.  This is where Ho’oponopono can help.  You see, if you cannot forgive the past, you will not be able to move into the golden future that is waiting for you.  I can understand how hard it can be to say this prayer in the beginning, and while it is easy to say the simple version it might be more helpful to start out by elaborating on each phrase.

  I am sorry I was placed into this situation.  Please forgive me for not seeing this situation for what it was sooner.  Thank you for helping me reclaim my power and for the lessons I have learned.  I love you (say your name).  The true power in this prayer is in its repetition, for the more times you say it, the more it becomes a part of you and the more easily you will believe it.  With time it helps to release the pain, anger, and trauma of the situation and move you into a deeper sense of peace.

     This prayer is not the only tool I have used in order to come to terms with my past.  There is a powerful visualization I still use when there is something I need to release.  I imagine myself in the desert, near sunset, standing in front of a wash, with a gently flowing stream of water that I can faintly hear.  I am surrounded by beautiful night-blooming desert flowers that smell of the sweetest perfume.  I imagine either the situation I need to release, the conversation, or the bad memory, as a parcel that I place into the flowing water of the wash.  I watch that parcel slowly float downstream until I can no longer see it.  As the parcel disappears, I feel a lightening and release of tension that I have been holding in my body for so very long.  Once the visualization is complete repetition of the prayer is the final component to help this release stick.

     The beautiful image in the card, is that of the Hawaiian goddess, Pele.  The goddess of fire and volcanoes, and dare I say the original goddess.  The islands were forged in fire, but so are the strongest of us.  For without the challenges, we have faced our light would not be as bright or as foundationally strong.  If neither of the above methods work for you in terms of releasing the past and finding forgiveness, you can always call on Pele through the ceremony of fire and either breathe your past into a stick, or write it onto paper to be burnt in the flame of transmutation.  Do not doubt the power of forgiving yourself.  It can transform your life. 



Oracle Card Credit:

*Whispers of Aloha – by Angela Hartfield, artwork by Christina DeHoff



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