In the past, I’ve skirted around grieving, sashayed away prematurely (though outwardly nobly) because I didn’t want to endure the muck and messiness, the tenacious, persistent roller coaster of emotions. I am a planner by nature, and to not know how I would feel from one moment to the next was just not something I could bear gracefully. At least I didn’t think so. Plus I didn’t want to burden others who prefer to be around a funny, lighthearted me.

Grief unattended is a tar baby, a sticky gooey mess of emotional debris.

In the short tenure of my dedication to see my 2012 words – stay and surprise – made flesh, I’ve been treated to all sorts of inexplicable, delightful happenstances. Or, as Quakers say, “Way opens.” Like this: last night as I muddled around in my journal about grief, as I tried to stay with the tumultuous emotions without falling into the familiar patterns of pointing fingers and defending myself and all that, I happened upon an online article about Ho’oponopono. Today, despite several hours worth of trying, I can’t find that link anywhere. Did it come from a friend’s Facebook posting? Did I stumble upon it? Why doesn’t it show up in my history?

I am perplexed.

And intrigued.

I google, and though I can’t find that particular article, I learn that Ho’oponopono is where we take responsibility for and clean with anything we perceive to be a problem. It’s the ultimate emptying, done with gratitude, openness, willingness. It’s a way to clear the tar baby of all old dramas, resentments, agonies such as things I wish I’d said. The theory is that it’s only from this point – called the zero point – that there’s room for new to enter . . . new ideas, new ways, new inspiration. It’s a way of accepting responsibility, expressing gratitude, letting go, making way by holding the emotion/situation/person/whatever and saying four things with utmost sincerity:

I love you.
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

Though being fluent only in English and Southern I know I’ll never be able to pronounce it, Ho’oponopono seems just the ticket now: a process resulting in detachment from the junk of the past, in clarity, in freedom. Things I seek. And so today I begin to create a new way of being, even if my tongue trips and tangles in the process.

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  1. Julie Daley

    Yes, it is an amazing process to do, especially with those most difficult to forgive. wonder where your link went? Joe Vitale wrote a book titled Zero Limits in which he talks about Ho’oponopono.

    Glad you’re staying with it…love, j

    • whollyjeanne

      in my googling today, i found joe and his book. downloaded a sample chapter. i just can’t find that article anywhere. i remember specific pieces from the article, and that’s what i’m after. it captivated me. perhaps it’s a story from the book. we’ll see. can’t let myself get distracted in the hunt, need to just say thank you to the sweet spirit of surprise that put it in front of me at just the time i needed it, right? what i read in that short article and what i read during my google search yesterday makes it seem the perfect fit. perhaps you’ll say the word for me when we gather sometime this week? love you.

      • Julie Daley

        BTW, I did Ho’oponopono with my father. Powerful stuff it is.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m up for Ho’oponopono – thanks for writing about this, Jeanne. It sounds like something I definitely want to weave into my life (even though there’s no way in Hades that I’ll ever be able to pronounce it either).

    p.s. the link thing – ohmyword, I hate when that happens (and have NO idea why History sometimes doesnt’ actually show where we’ve been – hmmm, now I’m thinking that maybe browser history learned something from history book history – grin)

    • whollyjeanne

      i think you’re onto something with your browser history taking after history book history . . .

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