I’m Sorry

Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian word representing the mantra “I’m sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You. I find it’s easier to say these words to others, but to myself it’s extremely difficult. Maybe by practicing this we can obtain the health benefits that come from its practice of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Ho’oponopono literally means ‘to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly, or neat.’ It’s a practice of reconciliation, forgiveness, and cleansing our minds of wrong thoughts.

Wow, this sent my mind to my favorite childhood book, Peter Pan. This passage from J.M. Barrie in Peter Pan, “Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children’s minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for the next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day.”

Tidying up our minds before we go to bed helps us fall asleep easier and stay asleep. It’s common knowledge now that letting go of what has happened during the day is the best way to lay our heads down and get a deep sleep.

Putting things in their right place.

Personal Experience

From personal experience, I can tell you that I sleep better when can forgive others and myself instead of rehashing every word I spoke and overthinking every situation or decision I’ve made during the day. Plus, I feel better and more energetic when I let go of the reigns of holding on to everything. But I’m warning you now once you begin on this journey of ho’ponopono/forgiveness you’re going to have several questions arise when you do this…some of mine follow.

Why am I sorry?

What did I do to be sorry for?

Do I need forgiveness?

What did I do today where I need to be forgiven?

Am I also grateful for this forgiveness?

What is in the way of me loving myself?

Asking myself these questions became a nightly ritual because they came up on their own as I laid down all the baggage of my day into my journal. Letting go and tidying up my mind turned into a lifelong component never really going away but always helping me to get to the bottom of my life. When I stripped away everything that was holding me down, and forgave myself for not being that perfect daughter, that perfect friend, or perfect wife and mom I was able to work with myself and create the person I wanted to be. Each day is a new day to go after that person.

I’m sorry: Apologize for all the things you’ve done and words you’ve spoken that don’t go along with your vision.

Please Forgive Me: Forgive yourself for not accomplishing perfection and any other thing you’ve thought that isn’t moving you toward your vision.

Thank You: Being and living in gratitude helps you see all the blessings in your life and gives you a healing perspective.

I Love You: Loving yourself where you are is the only way to move forward in your health and life journey. Loving yourself needs to come first before you can love anyone else.

Be in Ho’oponopono on a daily basis. I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you will help you move forward on your health and live journey. Remember, it’s a daily task that takes us to our next word..


How often when we have a disagreement with someone do we want to just end the tension by apologizing, even if we know deep down we were right in our actions? How often have we experienced that true sense of family peace, that feeling where no one is on edge? In a quote from a friend, “when you feel tension in the room (home, office, relationship, etc) you know God isn’t there.” You can’t have Godly peace if you are searching for ways to control the people around you, or blaming everyone else for your own misgivings.

Olive Branch

Extending an olive branch shouldn’t be met with a list of tasks to do. The homecoming of the prodigal son was not met with a laundry list of tasks that needed to be done first. No, his father, welcomed him home on God’s terms, not on man’s. Can you imagine for a moment the feeling of joy the prodigal son’s mother must have felt. Here she hadn’t been able to speak to her son for quite some time. When the prodigal son returned home, he was met with outstretched arms, welcoming love, and even a party. But in this physical world, when you extend an olive branch you are met with a laundry list of how the others in families and relationships want it to happen. Everyone finding ways to spout off “You must do this or that.” “We will only accept that olive branch if you do it my way.” Where is God in this scenario? He isn’t present at all.

Today is Day of Atonement, and we are to be reconciled to God and to each other. But it is so difficult to be reconciled with people who want reconciliation on their terms that they forget what God has to say about reconciliation. Are you at peace on God’s terms or your own terms? Do you make people constantly jump through hoops to win your affection, your respect, and your honor? Do you live a life filled with Godly peace or is your life filled with tension? Are your actions dividing families?

The Prodigal son came home, told his father he was wrong and in essence apologized for what he did. The father showed compassion on the son, even before the son apologized, and welcomed him back into the fold. This is a Godly story one that depicts all of our lives. But just as we go to our spiritual father and ask for forgiveness we need to ask for forgiveness from our physical fathers. The father of the prodigal son did not hold the wrongdoing over the son’s head for years on end. No, he had compassion on him. When you forgive as God forgives you wipe out the wrongdoing, God doesn’t hold the sin over your head and reminds you of it 10 years down the road.

When an olive branch is offered out to you, do you put stipulations on it? Or do you show compassion?