“The healer you have been looking for is your own courage to know and love yourself completely.” Yung Pueblo
Being in relationship with one another forces us to forgive over and over and over again in order to live peacefully and sustain healthy, loving relationships. When we choose to not forgive, we carry the tremendous weight of unhealed resentment. It’s a script running in the background of our minds and if not released, it will cunningly show up in all of our relationships, interactions and experiences.
You’ve probably heard the saying that forgiveness is for you; it’s not for the person that hurt you. We forgive so that we can be free from the weight of the resentments we carry.
Maybe you’ve also heard the saying that the way you heal another is by first healing yourself. We’ve been socialized to believe that someone else’s hurts are out there somewhere, where their circumstances have nothing to do with our own.
Maybe you’ve heard the true story of Dr. Len and how he cured an entire hospital of patients without ever spending time with a single one of them. And he did it through forgiveness.
There used to be a mental hospital in Hawaii for the criminally insane. Most of the patients there were violent and had to be either sedated or shackled. The caregivers at the hospital would often walk with their backs to the walls in order to remain alert and safe. As you can imagine, the hospital had a difficult time keeping doctors, nurses and therapists because of the conditions.
The hospital asked Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len to come be a therapist at the hospital. He said he would not do traditional therapy with the patients and if he was going to come there, they would have to allow him to do it his way. Out of desperation, the hospital agreed.
Dr. Len did not speak to any of the patients or spend even a moment of time with any of them. But every day he would look at their paperwork and as he did so, he noticed that different emotions would arise that needed to be healed within himself; emotions such as feeling disgusted, scared or frustrated. Then he would say a prayer that would help him heal those emotions within himself and as he did so, the patients themselves began to heal.
Within a few months of him doing this process consistently, the patients began to be unshackled and not needing sedation. A few months later, some of the patients were even being released. A year later, most of the ward was released. Four years after Dr. Len began this process all the patients were released and the ward was closed.
It was a miracle, right?
Here’s the prayer he used: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Maybe you’re feeling like you need a miracle right now.
What would happen if you took responsibility for the ways in which you contributed to the demise of your marriage and genuinely asked for forgiveness for the ways you betrayed yourself and your needs?
What if you could genuinely find gratitude for how this relationship has caused you to grow?
How would life be different – how would your relationship be different – if all that self-talk in your head was some version of, I love you.
If your marriage or relationship (any relationship) is struggling and you genuinely want to heal it, first heal what is within you. Try saying the Ho’oponopono prayer silently to yourself every day and as you heal yourself, you may just heal your marriage.
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.