Pono is a feeling that most of us have experienced at some time of peace, purpose and a sense that everything is ‘right’. In order to be pono, we must forgive ourselves so that we can let go of the bad feelings we harbour towards others.
Pono comes from ho`oponopono which is the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. This process allows us to overcome one of our biggest barriers to forgiveness - fear. Often we fear asking for, or offering forgiveness because we think it makes us look weak and vulnerable. Unfortunately, fear is a negative emotion and holding onto negativity does nothing but harm.
There are three steps to the process of ho’opnopono:
- Forgiving - we may not realise it but forgiveness is a two way process. It entails the person who has done wrong asking for forgiveness but it should also involve the aggrieved party giving forgiveness. By saying ‘please forgive me too’ the process is complete, the matter will be put to bed and we are ‘right’ with one another.
- Talking – after forgiveness, we must share our thoughts and feelings with each other and express ourselves without holding back. Once we feel we have said everything that needs to be said, we should ask for, or offer forgiveness once again.
- Learning – it is important to learn from life experiences because it can help us change our thinking and behaviour and create the lives and relationships we really want. In order to maintain pono, we must consider what we should learn from the event. When difficulties do arise, by being pono, we can view them with insight and fresh eyes rather than muddy them with baggage from the past.
First Psychology Scotland has centres in the following locations: Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440, www.edinburghtherapy.co.uk
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, www.glasgowpsychology.co.uk
Borders: 01896-800-400, www.borderspsychology.co.uk
Aberdeen: 01224-452-848, www.aberdeenpsychology.co.uk