How can you love yourself if you are angry and judgmental about yourself? How can you break free from that judgment and love yourself? I have found that the path to self-love and greater personal happiness begins with forgiveness.
Have you tried to think your way to loving yourself? Have you created lists upon lists on why you should love yourself? Did you find, as I did, that these logical reasons had little positive impact on your self-judgment? After trying – and failing – to think my way to self-love and self-acceptance, I looked for other methods.
I came across a practice based on a Hawaiian healing process called ho’oponopono, defined by Wikipedia as “family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.” While the original process was performed by Hawaiian elders and was for family mutual forgiveness, the process has been more recently simplified into a mantra by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Joe Vitale in their book, Zero Limits.
Hew Len and Joe Vitale recommend repeating a mantra for forgiveness constantly. The mantra is:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Instead of only repeating the mantra, I have found it effective to identify something I want to forgive myself for. These issues can be in relation to other people and upsets I am experiencing with them. Perhaps even more importantly, I have also found it highly effective to use it to address those things that I am most critical about myself, such as my issues of fear, doubt, failure, and even self-criticism!
Once I have an issue in mind, I tell myself I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I let myself feel everything that comes up around that issue and I continue to forgive myself for everything associated with that issue. When the issue begins to clear, I tell myself: I love you. Thank you. When I am ready to close, I express my appreciation to the Divine by saying I love you. Thank you.
I have found this to be a powerful doorway to loving myself. When I am able to remove my ego’s attachment to right and wrong, I am able to move past the issue and release negative feelings about myself much more easily. By staying with my feelings around my issues in an attitude of forgiveness, I am able to move into compassion and love for myself.
Use the ho’oponopono to neutralize your negative feelings about yourself and open the door to self-forgiveness and loving yourself! You will find that happiness is more attainable when you love and accept yourself!