When I first started getting Reiki treatments back in 2010, the energy healer I met with gave me a little notecard with 4 simple phrases on it. He said that they would help me with my healing journey.

I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you

Yes, they were simple and yet I burst into tears when I read it. Those words touched something very profound within me.

These words make up the Ho’onoponopono mantra in Hawaiian Shamanism.

By the time I began my Reiki journey, I had developed a hard shell around me. I was generally rude, defensive and fearful of others, some of it for good reason. By the time I was in my mid-thirties, that hardness no longer served me, but it was still very strongly fixed into my programming in how I behaved towards others and myself. When I started getting Reiki session in the summer of 2010, it was transformative. I’d walk out of sessions and people would smile at me on the street, something I was not used to at that time. I’d touch my face to check if I was smiling and to my surprise, I wasn’t! But they were reacting to something in my space that was softening and changing, that more of my inner light was coming forth.

Part of that softening, painful memories came to the surface. I’m a firm believer that to really change a problem and issues, is to get to the root of it, rather than bypassing it with a superficial nod to love and light. If the root cause isn’t addressed, then it’s just covering it up for to come up at a later time. And trust me, it will come up when we least expect it! As these painful memories were coming to the surface unexpectedly, I would recite those 4 phrases over and over. “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” And through processing these painful moments (sometimes years of processing! It’s never in one easy go most of the time), I would reach a moment where the memory wasn’t as raw or sharp.

I still have moments where I return back to the words of Ho’onoponopono. When my father passed, I chanted them to help him on his soul’s journey from this plane. When my mother was sick with cancer in the hospital, I chanted them, both for her and for me. I still chant them when I’m feeling stressed or worried.

Ho’onoponopono connects us to the mundane everyday life with the Divine force through repentance, forgiveness, gratitude and love.

I share this affirmation in every Reiki class I teach. One of my students who was a social worker said that these 4 phrases is what is shared with those who have relatives and friends who are in hospice as a way to communicate and connect with those who are dealing with severe illnesses and the end of life. They’re very simple yet profoundly powerful!

I’m sorry¬†

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you