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Not by Might and Power



Psalm 19:12

But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.


Desmond Tutu wrote, “Evil and wrong are aberrations. We are hard-wired for goodness.” I believe this statement, yet at times we struggle to live the life of a child of God. Sometimes it seems we make errors and are surrounded by evil and wrong out there.


The concept I want to touch on today is the idea that there really is no ‘out there.’ Anything we see or experience is translated into thoughts, images, and impressions that form our perceptions.  


We interpret and judge people and experiences.  When we make a judgment, that judgment is within us; the hate, envy, greed, and ignorance is within us. It is not ‘out there;’ it is within us and is part of our filtering system.  We see the world from our perspective and each of us chooses the thoughts through which we experience our earthly reality. We make choices and choose directions. Our challenge is to make sense of what we are seeing and experiencing while on this earth, and hopefully, express God’s love to the fullest.


When we experience a problem or challenge either personally or through observation… have you ever noticed that we are always there? It may seem self-evident, but for us to have a problem, some sort of ‘dis-ease,’ it must be in our thoughts first. Many of us carry our problems around with us even though we are no longer personally experiencing them. Through our memories we suffer again and again the injustices and injuries of long past occurrences or recent episodes. No one else is responsible for our memories; we alone choose to harbor them, nurture them, and they can bring us great misery and paint the way we see the world around us.


So perhaps part of the reason that we see something other than good in the world may be that we are not taking responsibility for our words, deeds, thoughts, and memories.


From Hawaii comes a technique called Ho’oponopono.  It means, "to make right," or "to rectify an error." According to the ancient Hawaiians, errors in perception and judgment arise from thoughts that are contaminated with painful memories. Ho’oponopono offers a way to release the adverse energy of these harmful memories and errors, which cause imbalance, disease, and the negative perception we have of our reality. It is a technique for solving problems, disposing of negative emotions, and healing those sore spots on our soul.


The main Ho’oponopono cleaning tool is the mantra; “I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you.” By saying this repeatedly we clear the data or memories in our mind. If we are having a problem, for example money is scarce, we say, "I accept responsibility for having no money. There is something inside me causing this problem. I am sorry, I love you, please forgive me and thank you." Repeat this over and over to clear whatever memories or feelings you have regarding money.


Dr. Len Hew has written on this technique in his book Zero Limits, as has Mable Katz in The Easiest Way. According to the authors, the best way to bring healing to every part of our life -- and to the entire universe -- is to take 100% responsibility for whatever appears in our life.


To take responsibility is not to accept blame. Although it is not our fault, it has appeared in our life, and therefore we are the cause of the problem. It means that we take 100% responsibility finding a solution. Please know that we cannot solve any problem; we cannot fix anything. It is only the Holy Spirit that can bring forth a solution. Our part of finding a solution is to ask.


Ho’oponopono is really very simple. For the ancient Hawaiians, all problems begin as thought. But having a thought is not the problem. The problem is that our thoughts are imbued with painful memories, memories of people, experiences, places, or things, and we want to release these thoughts. Through Ho'oponopono, Christ within neutralizes or purifies the painful thought. We don't purify the person, place, or thing; God neutralizes the negative energy we associate with that person, place, or thing.

So, the first step of Ho’oponopono is the purification of that energy. Not only does that energy get neutralized, but it also gets released; everything is zeroed out. Buddhists call it the Void. The final step is that we allow Spirit to enter and fill the Void with light and love. This will be a stumbling block for some of us: taking responsibility for something that clearly, we have no control over. But remember, if we weren’t there, there would be no problem. It is in our life, we have a connection with it, so take responsibility for it. So we engage God through Ho’oponopono saying, “I don’t know what I’ve thought or done to create this condition, but I love You and I’m sorry; please forgive me. Thank you.” Then release any expectation of what the result will be. We cannot know the right and perfect solution, only God can know that.


This works for people that we know who are unwell. We accept 100% responsibility for their condition because they are in our thoughts and part of our life perspective. We think to ourself: “My God, please, whatever is going on in me that I have caused the pain in this person, I am sorry. Please forgive me, I love You. Please tell me how I can rectify it."


When healing doesn't seem to be forthcoming, it is important to know that there may be multiple errors, multiple problems or painful memories, that are causing the pain. We know nothing! Only the Divine One knows what's really going on. Ho’oponopono is 100% knowing that we are the cause of the problem. 100% knowing that we have the responsibility to rectify the error.


If you want to solve any problem, work on yourself. If the problem is with another person, for example, ask God, “What's going on in me that's causing this person to bug me?” Some people only show up in our life to bug us! If we know that, we can alleviate the situation, and release any negative reaction by thinking, "I'm sorry for whatever's going on. Please forgive me. I love you."


This concept of taking responsibility has become the standard for customer service in a business setting. It is known as the LEAST method of dealing with an issue. It is an acronym for Listen – Empathize - Apologize – Solve – and Thanks. A disgruntled customer calls up and complains about an issue.  We listen to them to understand and validate their feelings. We then apologize and take responsibility for the error. 


In many cases if we accept responsibility, and not try to cast blame onto someone else, we diffuse anger. Then we offer a solution: money back, the commitment to confirm orders in the future, etc. Then we thank them for bringing this issue to our attention.


Part of the effectiveness of this customer service technique is humbly taking responsibility for the error and inconvenience. In today’s world, we don’t encounter that very often. We come across people trying to throw others under the bus, attempting to cover their own rears and avoid blame. Rarely do we run into someone with enough honor to accept the responsibility for a mistake.


We can also apply both Ho’oponopono and the LEAST method to our personal problems. If we have a dispute, be the first to accept the responsibility and apologize. What does it hurt to take responsibility? We may hear some brusque things directed our way. But that is just a result of their frustration. Even if they are 100% wrong, by taking responsibility we rise above the situation. Let the other person be right.  


We are told in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Our inner self, our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions, need constant attention and monitoring. This Proverb is a reminder that our inner state has a profound impact on our outer actions and the course of our lives.

We are taught in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” It is my prayer that we know that it is not through might and power that we connect with people or get things accomplished, as the world teaches. It is not through resistance and defiance, fighting and vehemently defending our position that we solve an issue, as our human nature and ego guides us.


We are told in Philippians 2:14: “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” It is through God’s spirit that we reach other people’s hearts. It is Spirit that makes our way smooth, not our own efforts. The teachings of Christ encourage understanding, patience, and love in our interactions with others. The techniques of Ho’oponopono and LEAST are methods of teaching us to think before we speak and to avoid unnecessary conflict.


Through Spirit, we can learn to release our negative thinking, release our desire to control others with force, and change the filters through which we perceive the world. It is my prayer that we use the lens of a calm mind, respect, kindness, and love to view and experience the world.


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