The purpose of life is to be restored back to Love, moment to moment. To fulfill this purpose, the individual must acknowledge that he is 100 percent responsible for creating his life the way it is. He must come to see that it is his thoughts that create his life the way it is moment to moment.The problems are not people, places, and situations but rather the thoughts of them. He must come to appreciate that there is no such thing as “out there.” —Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len As I mentioned earlier in this book, I wrote an article called “The World’s Most Unusual Therapist” and posted it on my blog. I added it to my web site at www.mrfire.com, as well. It was also published in a book by David Riklan, 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. This article became the most widely distributed and talked-about article I had ever written. People posted it on newsgroups, forwarded it to friends, sent it to their personal and public e-mail lists, and more. Apparently the message in it was inspiring everyone. It was that very article that got the attention of my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, and led to my writing this book for you.
But not everyone loved the article. A few people couldn’t believe that anyone, even a psychologist, could help heal mentally ill criminals in a hospital. One person wrote to Dr. Hew Len and demanded proof. The person wanted to know the facts about Dr. Hew Len’s experiences in that mental hospital. So did I, truth be known. Here’s what Dr. Hew Len wrote as a detailed reply:
The story, as most stories go, needs clarification.
It is true that:
1. I spent several years as a fee-paid service staff psychologist at Hawaii State Hospital, a psychiatric facility operated by the Hawaii State Health Department.
2. I spent three years from 1984 to 1987 as the staff psychologist, 20 hours a week, in a high-security unit housing male patients who had committed criminal acts of murder, rape, drug use, and assault and battery against people and property.
3. When I entered the high-security unit in 1984 as the staff psychologist, all seclusion rooms were occupied with violent patients.
4. On any given day on the unit there were several patients in metal restraints around their ankles and wrists to prevent violence against others.
5. Violence in the unit by patients against patients and patients against staff was a common occurrence.
6. Patients were not intimately involved in their care and rehabilitation.
7. There were no in-unit rehabilitative work activities.
8. There were no off-unit activities, recreation, or work.
9. Visits by families on the unit were extremely rare.
10. No patients were allowed off of the high-security unit without written permission by the psychiatrist and only with ankle and wrist restraints.
11. The stay in the unit by a typical patient ran into years, the cost being, I believe, around $30,000 a year then.
12. Staff sick leave ran extremely high on the ward.
13. The physical environment of the unit was drab and somewhat rundown.
14. The unit staff was composed of basically wonderful and caring people.
15. What I’ve described is probably typical of most psychiatric units elsewhere in the country.
When I left the unit and facility in July 1987: 1. Seclusion rooms were no longer in use.
2. Wrist and ankle restraints were no longer in use.
3. Violent acts were extremely rare, usually involving new patients.
4. Patients were responsible for their own care, including arranging residential, work, and legal services before leaving the unit and the facility.
5. Off-unit recreational activities such as jogging and tennis were ongoing, not requiring approval by a psychiatrist or the use of ankle and wrist restraints.
6. Off-unit work activities were begun, such as car washing, without the approval of a psychiatrist or the use of ankle and wrist restraints.
7. On-unit work consisted of baking cookies and polishing shoes.
8. Visits in the unit by family were taking place.
9. Staff sick leave was not a chronic problem.
10. The unit environment greatly improved with painting and maintenance and because people cared.
11. The unit staff was more involved in supporting patients to be 100 percent responsible for themselves.
12. The turnaround time for patients from admission to leaving the hospital was greatly reduced to months instead of years.
13. The quality of life for both patients and staff shifted dramatically from being custodial to one of family, people caring for one another.
What did I do for my part as the unit staff psychologist? I did the Self Identity through Ho’oponopono process of repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation for whatever was going on in me that I experienced consciously and unconsciously as problems before, during, and after leaving the unit each time.
I did not do any therapy or counseling with patients on the unit. I did not attend any staff conferences on patients.
I took 100 percent responsibility for myself to clean with the stuff in me that caused me problems as staff psychologist.
I am a creation of the I AM, perfect, as is with everyone and everything. What is imperfect is the c_ _p, the memories that react, replay as judgment, resentment, anger, irritation, and God knows the rest of the s_ _t that is carried in the Soul.
Peace of I, Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD, Chairman Emeritus The Foundation of I, Inc. Freedom of the Cosmos
Though I was still learning ho’oponopono, I sometimes taught it to others if I felt they were open to hear about it. Of course, their being open was a reflection of me, not them.The clearer I became, the clearer the people around me became. But that’s a tough fact to accept. It’s so much easier to want to change the outer than the inner.
In Maui, a realtor drove us around to look at houses. Along the way, we did a lot of talking about healing, spirituality, the movie The Secret, and personal growth. It was all interesting, but something enlightening took place on one segment of our drive.
The realtor had read my now-famous article on Dr. Hew Len and the ho’oponopono Hawaiian healing process he used to heal an entire ward of mentally ill criminals.
Like everyone else, the realtor found the article inspiring. Like everyone else, he didn’t quite understand it.
As we drove around the beautiful island of Maui, I listened to the realtor complain about a house he couldn’t sell.The buyer and seller were fighting over it, causing a lot of anger, resentment, and more. The sale was caught up in their bickering, and wasn’t going to close anytime soon.The realtor was obviously frustrated by their actions. I listened for a while and then felt inspired to speak up.
“Would you like to know how Dr. Hew Len might handle this situation using ho’oponopono?’ I asked.
“Yes!” the realtor exclaimed, obviously curious. “I’m definitely interested.Tell me.”
“This ought to be good,” Nerissa said.
“Well, I’m not Dr.Hew Len,” I began,“but I am writing a book with him and I’ve trained with him. So I think I know how he might handle this.”
“What Dr. Hew Len does is look within himself to see what is within him that is sharing the experience he sees on the outside,” I began. “When he worked at that mental hospital, he looked at the patients’ charts.Whether he felt repulsion at their acts or something else, he didn’t deal with the person; he dealt with the feelings he experienced. As he cleared what was within him, they began to get clear and heal.”
“I like this,” the realtor said.
“Most people have no idea what responsibility means,” I continued.
“They are into blame. As they grow and become more aware, they begin to consider that they are responsible for what they say and do. Beyond that, as you become even more aware, you can begin to realize that you are responsible for what everyone says or does, simply because they are in your experience. If you create your own reality, then you created all you see, even the parts you don’t like.”
The realtor was smiling, nodding his head.
I kept talking.
“It doesn’t matter what the buyer or seller does in this situation,” I said.“It matters what you do.What Dr.Hew Len does is simply repeat ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘Please forgive me,’ and ‘Thank you.’ He doesn’t say it to the people, he says it to the Divine. The idea is to clear the shared energy.”
“I’ll do this,” the realtor said.
“But you don’t do it to get something,” I went on. “You do it because it’s how we clear the shared energy so no one has to experience it again, ever. It’s a cleansing, and you never stop doing it.” I paused.
The realtor seemed to get it. His eyes were wide and his smile was big.
“If it comes up in your awareness,” I continued,“then it’s up for you to clean and heal. Since you brought this situation of the buyer and seller to my attention, then I have to clean on it, too. It’s now part of my life experience. If I’m the creator of my experience, then this is something I’m responsible for, too.”
I let all of this sink in as we continued our drive to look at other homes in Maui.
A few days later I received an e-mail from the realtor. He said he was continuing to use the Dr.Hew Len process. That’s how it works. It’s all love. It’s continuous. And you’re totally responsible.
One day I taught a seminar with Mindy Hurt, who runs the Wimberley, Texas, Unity Church. It was called “The Secret of Money.” Later in it, I taught everyone the ho’oponopono method of cleaning. Afterward one gentleman came up and said,“I have a problem saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Please forgive me.’ ”
“Why?” I asked.
I had never heard this before. I was curious.
“I can’t imagine a loving God or Divinity who needs my asking for forgiveness,” he said. “I don’t think the Divine has to forgive me for anything.”
I thought about it and later knew the reply I should have given him:
“You aren’t saying those statements to be forgiven by the Divinity; you’re saying them to clean yourself.You say them to Divinity but they are to clean you.”
In other words, the Divine is already showering love on you. It has never stopped. At the zero state, where there are zero limits, the closest we can describe it is as a state of pure love. It’s there. But you’re not. So by saying, “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you,” you are cleaning the programs in you that are preventing you being at the pure state: love.
Again, the Divine doesn’t need you to do ho’oponopono; but you need to do it.
Recently I received a heart-wrenching e-mail from a dear friend of mine. She asked:
“What would you say to someone who has been reading your book, who watched The Secret, who reads your blog every day, who does her best, yet is still broke, unhappy, and failing? I keep having problem after problem. It never ends.What would you say?” I felt her pain.After all, at one point I was homeless. I struggled in poverty for a decade. My “overnight” success probably took 20 years to occur. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re stuck in quicksand.
What would you say to such a person?
In the past I would offer solutions. I would say read The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol.Watch the movie The Secret seven times. Create a scenario of how you want life to be.Take time every day to meditate.Work on self-sabotage issues.
But that’s the frontal approach to change. I’ve learned—and Dr. Hew Len will attest—that that approach rarely works.
So what’s left?
How do you or me or anyone help someone stuck and in pain? According to ho’oponopono, the only way is by cleaning myself. People who come before me—including the one who wrote me— are sharing a program with me. They caught it like a virus of the mind. They aren’t to blame. They feel trapped or cornered. I can throw them a rope, but more often than not, they won’t use it, or they’ll use it to hang themselves.
So what do you do?
All I can do is clean me. As I clean me, they get cleaned. As we clean the programs we share, they get lifted from all humankind.This is all I do these days. It’s what Dr.Hew Len first told me he did, on that first phone call we had so long ago:“All I do is clean, clean, clean.” All I do is say, “I love you,”“I’m sorry,”“Please forgive me,” and “Thank you.”The rest is up to Divinity. I don’t think this is heartless but instead the most heartfelt thing I can do.And it’s what I’m doing right now, even as I write these words.
Finally, consider this spiritual punchline: Since the story of this person who wrote me is now part of your experience, that means it is up for you to heal, as well.After all, if you create your own reality, then you had to create this situation, too, as it is now part of your reality. I suggest you use the “I love you” statements to heal this.
As you heal yourself, the person who wrote me, and everyone else who shares that program, will get better.