In our Autumn 2021 issue, we had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Joe Vitale about the power and simplicity of the Ho’oponopono prayer – ‘I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.’ It was an honour to hear his great knowledge on this subject. Read our full interview with him below!
When someone as successful as Joe Vitale speaks, the world listens – and rightly so. Dr Vitale has written eighty books, played the starring role in the movie ‘The Secret’, launched fifteen albums after the age of sixty, and is a word renowned speaker and
personal development expert.
We spoke to Joe recently at one of our positive nights and he generously shared a bunch of “life hacks” with us…
Ho’oponopono – what is it?
Ho’oponopono originates from Hawaii. It is a prayer to the Divine/God/The Great Something (insert your own understanding here). It consists of four short phrases which can be said in any order. These phrases are more than they appear, however … and herein lies the magic.
In the words of Dr Vitale, “Ho’oponopono is a shorthand prayer for something that is impacted with lots more meaning and energy. The four phrases are a kind of combination to open up our heart and allow more spirituality to come in.”
Joe has written a number of books, most notably ‘Zero Limits’, elucidating the Ho’oponopono prayer in depth. He is a fantastic storyteller, and his book is a great place to go to dive deeper into the ‘meaning and energy’ of the prayer:
“I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
How does Ho’oponopono work?
The prayer is a supplication to the Divine, That which is always available and willing to listen and respond to us with the utmost Love.
“Using Ho’oponopono, you are saying, ‘I can’t solve this on my own, please help me.’ You are requesting assistance to solve the problem, which is a form of surrender to the Divine.”
Ho’oponopono really comes into force when we perceive a problem in our life: a ‘controlling’ boss, a ‘lazy’ employee, a ‘dis-compassionate’ spouse, or a ‘thoughtless’ friend. Notice the perception words are placed in inverted commas here. This signifies that these are our perceptions of these people. This is what we are seeing through our eyes and mind and heart. The groundwork here is to acknowledge, at least on some level, as much as you can, that the issue, the perception, the idea of what or how this person is, is inside you. As Joe puts it, it is “a perception based problem”. The upset is inside you. The anger is inside you. Vitally, it is your responsibility to ‘clean it up’, so the situation can aright itself and shift in whatever way necessary for harmony to be
“When you realise this, you have a clue that what you need to change is inside you.”
Saying “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you” activates the Divine on your behalf to “clean up the perception” and helps us to forgive ourselves for whatever part our perception has played in creating the problem. “We are saying ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me’ for not being aware. You are not apologising because you need to be punished, or are wrong or weak, just because you were unconscious as to what you have done and we ask the Divine to forgive us for sleepwalking through life.”
How do I use Ho’oponopono?
“Say the four phrases inside you, to your connection to whatever you call your Higher Power…God…The Universe… Say it like you are having a conversation, making a request.”
For Joe, it took years of sticky notes all over his house, reminding him to say the prayer, day after day….until it became a kind of background mantra in his mind. It can be used on specific problems, as we’ve seen, however, ideally we could say it all the time because there is simply so much clearing to be done inside. Our human brain contains so many limiting perceptions and beliefs and this prayer blesses us by clearing and sweeping away this debris of useless data.
The Art of Manifestation + Ho’oponopono
Let’s put Ho’oponopono in the wider context of our life’s journey now. We are, mostly, living life in order to achieve whatever it is we believe will bring us the greatest happiness and success. Knowing what it is we want, or what will bring us the greatest happiness, is the first step on the journey. Using this knowledge, we set our goal.
In general, says Joe, “you will attract whatever you want to do, have or be.” It’s just par for the course. Human beings have the power to do this, without much effort. The question is then, why don’t we get what we want to do, have or be with more frequency and success? It is “because of our inner unconscious blocks. Our subconscious has beliefs that veto what we want. For example, someone wants more money. It doesn’t happen. In their subconscious is the counter intention that says ‘rich people are greedy’ or ‘money is the root of all evil’.”
To uncover these limiting beliefs is also remarkably simple. They will rear their fearful heads as soon as you decide you want to go for something that will make you happy. They are the little voices detailing all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it, or can’t do it, or that if you do it then X, Y or Z terrible things might happen.
To help clear these limiting beliefs you can simply question them; “Look at what comes up. Ask yourself: is it real? Is there really a threat to my life here? If this fear happened, could I still love myself ? Could my life go on? Would I still be okay?” When you realise that you are genuinely safe, the way opens up. Ho’oponopono will help you to clear those beliefs too. When you feel you need the support of the Divine, or you feel you can’t do it alone, simply make the request using the four phrases and allow the Great Something to help you.
Joe emphatically wants all beings to know that “this stuff works! When you clear your limiting beliefs, you are free to accelerate your path.”
The Ho’oponopono Prayer
- Notice a problem in your life.
- Realise that it is perception-based.
- Say ‘I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you’ to the Divine.
- Be cleared of limiting perceptions.