The words “I’m sorry” don’t mean much unless they are followed up with the recognition that there was a mistake that will not be repeated… When my son was small he would try to avoid a reprimand by saying I’m sorry the minute he saw my face… it worked a couple of times, but by the third time it wasn’t good enough… the words can be easy to say in the moment, but unless there is a change, they are pointless.
So how do you really say your sorry? I would say that an apology is more of a process than a set of words… it only opens with the words. The real apology kicks in with the decision to change your ways, and a firm commitment to following through. The next step is to forgive yourself and all involved in the “mistake”, and then you need to find ways of making amends… Even when you are not able to do something for the person you hurt, you can provide some service to someone else who may need it. You can also make amends on a spiritual level, by offering prayers for the people you may have hurt, sending them loving energy whenever you think of them, lighting candles in their honor with the intent that the light of the candle shines light into the lives of those you have offended in any way.
Old hurts can haunts us for decades, long after each party has moved on to another life… How do you apologize to people that you cannot find? How do you make amends after a long estrangement?
You can pray for them, send them loving thoughts… and you can talk to their souls, heart to heart, soul to soul, tell them how sad you are that you hurt them and how it has pained you and how you wish you could take it back… (More on this technique in Healing Relationships With Love) and never making the same mistake again…
Teresa writes of a beautiful spiritual practice:
“I love you”
“Please forgive me”
Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) stems from an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Traditionally it is practiced by healing priests or kahuna au among family members of a person who is physically ill. It was the belief that some actions caused illness, so this was/is an ‘untie-error’ rite meant to atone for such errors and thereby diminish the accumulation of them in one’s life. I won’t go into all the history or other details (check out the sections on Freedom from Karma and Creating State of Zero at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho%CA%BBoponopono for more background info). I will, however, share with you what little I have learned about ho’oponopono as it is being taught now for use in ways beyond the original use of within families and tribes as well as for physical wellness.[Note: Apparently this is based on a book co-authored by Joe Vitale (of The Secret fame) with a man who was a disciple of the woman who first began to transform the practice (though she, herself, did not use mantras and the untraditional practice supposedly outlined in the book is the following mantra).]
The ‘evolution’ of this practice described on the aforementioned link and probably the book (I haven’t read it) has been condensed into a simple mantra, so to speak, of four phrases:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
This ‘mantra’ represents the idea of what its ‘creator’ calls Total Responsibility. Basically, this implies the belief of all consciousness as part of the whole (using parts of the idea of holism): any error that a person clears in their own consciousness should be cleared for everyone.
In a sense, it kind of reminds me of the Hundredth Monkey…if I correct myself and my karma, etc, then I open the way for others to do so as well, until, in doing so, we have created a new reality in which no one has any ill effects from past lives, past mistakes, etc. and, as we each do our part, we make it easier and easier for the next person to do so, until the Hundredth Monkey affect, where we are all clear and we live in a ‘new’ world.
So allow me to say to you, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” I mean it. Sincerely. Teresa, Wind Sister </>
Note: “Ho?oponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.” Literally, ho?o is a particle used to make an actualizing verb from the following noun, as would “to” before a noun in English. Here, it creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as
“goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.”
Ponopono is defined as “to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”