I have a new spiritual practice.
I don’t remember where I first heard these phrases, in this particular order: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
But now I say them in my mind whenever resentment or remorse arises.
If I’m angry at someone, I hold their image in my mind and say those brief sentences (silently). If I feel remorse towards someone I think I may have hurt or discomfited, I hold their image in my mind and say those brief sentences (silently).
Then my mind stops chattering and my heart feels peaceful.
Now, if I’m really REALLY pissed at someone, my mind might step in and say, “Hey, wait a minute. What do I have to apologize to that ____________ (fill in the blank) for?”
But it doesn’t matter. Maybe I’m just asking forgiveness for my hateful feelings, or maybe I’m asking forgiveness of myself for having allowed someone to hurt me.
It doesn’t matter. It just works. I feel better right away.
The effect is not permanent, but when rage or resentment or remorse arises again, I can simply do the practice again. Easy! Takes seconds!
To be clear, this doesn’t mean I’m reaching back into my past to amend any wrongs I may have done or to reestablish any connections that weren’t working for me. It’s just a reset of my heart.
As I say, I don’t remember where I first heard these phrases put together like this, but I did Google it just now and found this little lovely explanation of its origin.
Turns out it’s an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice, known as Ho’oponopono. (You know I couldn’t be making this up, right?)
So if your mind, like mine, ever torments you with resentments or regrets, give Ho’oponopono a shot. And maybe let us know how it works for you. I find it extremely simple and effective. Stunningly so. Easier to do it than to pronounce it, I would say.