This was an interview that I did with Carla Rieger in the spring, an interview about the Ho’oponopono Prayer and its profound affects on my life. You can listen to the interview or read the transcription below.
Transcript: How to Let Go of Years of Negativity Through a Forgiveness Prayer
...you two were married? and I said yes we were she said I can't believe it I've been in class with you all all this time I had no idea, you don't have that angst previously married couples have which I took as a big compliment...
[Music ♫] Hey it's Carla over here from the Artistry of Change and Mind Story Academy and we'd like to present the successful life podcast discover mindset secrets for success in business and life.
[Carla] Hey everyone, this is Carla and I'm here today with Mary Sue Rabe, the founder of Women Healing the World, which is a group of women who are actively transforming and healing global society through networking. And today Mary's gonna share with us about one of the most important topics I think we all need to know more about and have solutions for and that is to forgive ourselves and others so that we can learn, grow, and move on and help make the world a better place when we do it.
So to that end she's going to introduce us to how to use the Ho’oponopono prayer to free yourself from the past. And many people are feeling stuck about how to feel happier more on purpose more fulfilled in life, and often it's because of stock negative emotions from their past that they may not even be aware of. So this prayer helps you break free so that you find that sense of freedom and inner peace again. So Mary, let's start with how you found out about the prayer.
[Mary] Thanks Carla for having me. The Ho’oponopono prayer. Back in 1985 I had separated from my husband. We had tried everything to save our marriage, which was basically based on alcohol and partying. I has gotten pregnant and had our first daughter, and when that happened I quit drinking so much so it wasn't much fun anymore. And our marriage was in trouble so we had a geographic cure, a move from Houston to Conroe, Texas. just up the road.
My husband got a new job we bought a great big house with some acres. We remodeled the house and I got pregnant again, and I was still miserable and I was making him miserable by nagging him all the time about his drinking. Finally I decided I couldn't take it anymore, I had tried all kinds of things to get him to stop drinking and nothing had worked. So I decided that I needed to take care of myself and that possibly, if I moved, maybe that would make him come to his senses and maybe that would be the impetus to get him to quit drinking.
So when we moved we had not been able to sell our house in Houston.
So when my youngest daughter was six weeks old, after having a c-section and I could finally pick up a box, I moved to my two daughters and myself back to our house in Houston.
I was still very upset with him and even more upset that the move didn't help him come to his senses he continued to drink. I found help at the Houston Area Council of Alcoholism and they suggested that I have an intervention.
The first step of an intervention is to find out if his boss will cooperate. I made an appointment with his boss to meet me at a different bank location, and I needed to ask him if he was Keith would still have a job when he return from treatment, and if his insurance might cover it. And I was also very angry because it's like his boss had all the power. His boss was the one who was in control and it was pointed out to me that yes, the employer is the one who has control because they're the ones that give the funds that supply the substance. So if you don't have a job and you don't have any money then you can't buy your addiction.
Anyway, I went in visited with his boss who basically took over from there and insisted that he go to treatment. I never had to do the second part of gathering people together to confront him. So I made him the identified patient. He went to a treatment center and I went to family week.
After going to family week and learning more about addiction and about dysfunctional families, I decided that I needed to go to 12-step meetings. So I started going to 12-step meetings I met this really nice lady. And I was moaning the fact that you know I was teaching nursery school and I didn't have much money, and she said oh you have a prosperity issue. I know a lady who's teaching class on prosperity. She went to Unity Ministerial School and now she teaches and she counsels. Her name is Pat.
So besides going to 12-step meetings I signed up for Pat's classes which were a 180 degrees from the way I had been raised to think. This was all kind of new thought Unity teachings which was new to me but it felt very at home was, like wow, I can't believe this is what I've been searching for.
So I couldn't afford to go to a counselor, but Pat would see people on a donation basis. So I went to Pat for counseling. One time I went to see Pat I ranted and raved about my ex and how upset I was and how he wouldn't cooperate and he wouldn't work on the marriage [inaudible] and she pulled out this piece of paper that had this prayer on it, Ho’oponopono prayer. And she said I want you to read this and so I read through it and it was a prayer about forgiveness, and I just really went off and I said I am NOT gonna forgive him, he does not deserve to be forgiven. He's a jerk and he's the reason for all of our problems. If he'd just straighten up.
Well she just looked at me and said I want you to read this prayer every time you start feeling the way you're feeling right now, and I want you to read it until the feeling goes away. Again I said no, I don't want to forgive him. And she said, well he doesn't know that you're angry, he doesn't care that you're angry, and if you don't know forgive him, who's it hurting? You're the one still holding the rope. He doesn't have a clue about how you feel, so you may as well give it up, it's going to make you [inaudible] if you don't. I felt like I hadn't gotten my five dollars worth of donation, I was still angry when I left.
[Carla] so what happened, did you do the prayer?
[Mary] Well I I took the prayer, and I went home. So every time I felt anxious, angry I got out the prayer and I started reading it, and I followed her instructions,and I read it over and over again until I calmed down, and it was amazing to me. You know wasn't something there was like a big AHA or a big oh I'm not mad at him anymore, it was just a gradual letting go, or something within me changed I don't know what, I don't know how, it was just magical. And then incidents would happen, he might say something or do something, and I didn't react. it's kind of like I would observe myself and go, well that's different
[Carla] yeah. I've heard that if you could one's brain and watch what was happening, that when you do the prayer and you start and you're trigger when you start it and the energy is mostly on in the survival brain, the interior lizard brain. But as you do it it starts to open up more of your brain and then you have more of yourself online to deal with situations, so that's sort of the neuroscience background.
[Mary] oh wow, that's interesting to me it was, you know, I what I was going to therapy but it was like everything just melted away, it's like I didn't have to go to therapy I didn't need to talk about things, it just shifted, and the interesting part is it shifted so much that Keith my (soon-to-be ex) started going to Pat also for counseling and attending her classes, the same classes that I went to
[Carla] so you and him didn't patch it up, you decided to get a divorce
[Mary] we got a divorce
[Mary] but it was very amicable. We sat down with mediators and came to an agreement. the whole thing was really magical and he started coming to these classes and there were only maybe 10 people in the class, and he even brought his fiancee.
[Carla] he got into a new relationship?
[Mary] it didn't punch my buttons, and that's what was amazing to me it's like the observer observing me, it's like that doesn't make you mad? no it didn't
One night we were discussing him picking up the girls for the weekend and one of our classmates overheard us talking she looked at us real quizzically, and I could see that she was confused, and so I looked at her and I said yes we have mutual children. and she said you mean you two were married? and I said yes we were she said I can't believe it I've been in class with you all all this time I had no idea you don't have that angst previously married couples have, which I took as a big compliment
He was a great dad we spent our holidays together. When my girls were in college we both went to parents weekend. A lot of my daughter's (not close friends) but people that they knew had no idea that their parents were divorced because we were always there sitting at the table, together attending events together whereas other divorced parents were dividing their time or not coming at the same time.
[Carla] yeah or making the kids choose sides which is something my parents did
[Mary] oh, that's tough
[Mary] and that was one thing that we wanted to make sure we didn't do, and I will say you know is very confusing like for our families and our friends because they wanted to choose sides, and we asked them not to. We both said our marriage fell apart because of both of us, no one is to blame.
[Carla] That's huge because when you think about the ramifications for children and friends and family if you do take on that animosity like that.
[Mary] and such you know such negative energy
[Mary] and it makes it unpleasant for everybody, everybody kind of tiptoes around. One of my nieces, her in-laws were getting a divorce and so she came to me and asked me you know how do you all have such a nice relationship? And I said forgiveness. So she asked me to talk to her mother-in-law, which I did, but you know she lived in the same place that I was, she didn't want to forgive, she didn't want the prayer
[Carla] but obviously your ex-husband did [inaudible]
[Mary] yes, he read the prayer also and so I think you know it worked miracles for him too
[Carla] but he was obviously inspired by you taking the first step of letting go
[Mary] yes, yes
[Carla] people are listening that even if the other person still not acting how you want, you changing your perspective on them sometimes does, as in your case, inspire them to do the same, right?
[Mary] yes, yes it's a program of Attraction and that's what he saw, he saw that I had a lot of peace, and he wanted that peace
[Mary] oh yeah it really was, and it's so simple
[Carla] oh and you'd also told me that you ended up having holidays together, and now that he's passed away, but your story of [inaudible] is amazing
[Mary] well when my daughter's realized that he needed to be in constant (hospice ?) care, I had rented an apartment in the same complex where they have a townhouse that they were living in, and so we talked about different possibilities. and one of them asked well would it be possible for us to take him to your house? there's not as much furniture we can come down there you know we can go to our house and sleep if we want just all the reasons for it. So I said sure and then I walked down the hall and thought oh no, what have I just committed myself to?
But, it was really interesting we got into a routine you know I'd get up in the morning and make coffee for him. And what was really interesting was his friends came over and there were several times when his friends would come over and I would I would leave the room, I would go upstairs, and I overheard several of them talking at different times and these two gals in particular I remember hearing them and they were going now isn't this his ex-wife's house? Maybe I should be nicer to my ex. I mean that's really something that his ex-wife is letting him come be here, that's amazing.
[Carla] and how was it for you and him at the end? and I asked just because I remember when my mother was dying, and my parents had not spoken for 18 years even about us as kids, it also had to be a go-between person. And when my mom was dying, my dad came into the hospital and I thought oh my gosh what is he gonna say all these years of unresolved stuff, but he came and he just sat with her and he held her hand and she couldn't hardly have even talked at that point, she was dying of cancer, and he held her hand and they just sat there together, and reconnected to the love that they once had
[Carla] and my father walked out of there much lighter person, you know what I mean, like I saw this look on his face and I feel that my mother passed away a lighter, better person just for that 15 minutes of being together. Sorry I was just curious how it was for you and Keith near the end
[Mary] it was, well, like I said, you know I would get up in the morning and make coffee for him, you know and we would chat, and I was trying I mean I wanted to be supportive and I wanted to do what was necessary, and I wanted to support my daughters, but I didn't want to interfere in their relationship with him
[Mary] so I usually spent the time with him in the morning before they got there and I don't know it was it was just real real pleasant, real peaceful
[Carla] you and him had already done the work years before and so you were just in that place of friendly support
[Mary] yeah, and you know look looking out for the common good of our daughters
[Carla] yeah that's amazing even though it seems like such a little thing, just the ramifications that are so huge
[Carla] So just let's find out a little bit of background about it. I know it comes from Hawaiian ancient culture so what's your understanding of the background of it?
[Mary] Well I know that Pat was at a healing retreat in Mexico, and this woman came up to her and said I need to give you this prayer, and wonder if it was this lady named Morna, I think she died maybe in 1972. Anyway she was Hawaiian and she did a lot of work with this particular prayer, she was a Kahuna.
[Carla] I heard that originally the prayer was used as part of the tribe to help, there was much conflict, but then it can also be used individually, right?
[Mary] Right, so yes, it can be used individually and I do think that it was used as a ceremony for the whole community. And then it has been used, by several there have been are a number of people who have written books about it, Joe Vitale being one. And he and a fellow by the name of Hew Len took it and they basically made it into four sentences, but I really like the original myself I was introduced to it so long ago, and it did such wonders for me that I feel like it's more substantial than the four sentence version.
[Carla] And so, of course, at this point people are wondering how do I get a copy that prayer.
[Mary] Yeah, right. I'm glad to share the one that I used. And and Pat took the prayer and she created different ones which, you know, people want and I'd be willing to share them also, but the basic one, would you like me to read it?
[Carla] Yeah, read it, and maybe what we can do also, will lead listeners through it [inaudible] somebody that you feel still some negativity towards. I'm sure it could be someone from years ago, you know, a stepparent, or it could be, you know, your ex, or it could be someone present in your life that's just annoying you, a teenager whatever, or a work colleague. So just go along with this and and so you can imagine yourself doing it and see how it feels for you.
[Mary] Okay, when I was taking Pat's classes a lot of times we would do a forgiveness prayer, you know, the class. This particular prayer since it was a community thing, and this one is for you to do with another person. However I didn't want to do it with Keith, and he would not have participated at first, but you just imagine the other person there. So you read both people's parts and imagine that you're talking to the person that you want to forgive.
[Mary] and you imagine them responding to you, so I'll try and explain as I go along
[Mary] So it starts out…
Divine Creator, Father/Mother God, Be my Witness:
If I _________________have ever offended you ________________in thought, word or action from the beginning of creation to this very moment….I humbly ask your forgiveness. Forgive all errors, resentments, guilt, offenses, blocks and attachments I may have created or attracted into my life. Will you forgive me?
Yes, I forgive you. (reach out and take you partner’s hand as a sign of friendship, brotherhood and love.) I take your hand as a sign of release from all spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, material, financial or karmic bondage. I affirm that as of this moment, there is no holding on to the past. I pull out of my memory banks, release, sever and remove any trace of resistance. I release all disappointments, anger, hurt, or
From this moment, all unwanted negative memories and blocks, conscious and subconscious, that tie, bind, and attach us together is forever cut. Cleanse, purify and transmute all these unwanted energies into the pure light of Christ Love. Use this light to heal energies occupied with Divine Light. Let Divine Order, Love, Peace, Balance, Wisdom and Understanding manifest in all our affairs.
Through the Divine Power of the Creator. And so it is forever……!
Want a copy of the prayer for yourself?
[Mary] it covers all the bases
[Carla] it does, and you know it doesn't matter your religious background there's good sort of wording in there and you can kind of make it your own, it's just really about giving it back to a higher power in some way
[Carla] getting out of your own small-mindedness, isn't it
[Mary] yeah, I will say you know at first when I read it, I mean these were concepts and thoughts that I wasn't necessarily familiar with, so you know, I kind of questioned it or I felt kind of uncomfortable saying some of the things but that was 1985, I’ve come a long way
[Carla] yeah, give it a try to see how it works for you and I was thinking of when you were doing it is it'd be really interesting to do it by yourself and imagine you're the other person because, I have to find you probably find this too that the people you have the most issues with you sort of projected a part of yourself onto them you don't like
[Carla] in a way you want to tie you to yourself
[Carla] you're something you don't like and so that's very powerful, I mean I can see it being powerful to do it with somebody and I did something like that with a partner that I was breaking out we actually did something similar to that super powerful we're still friends to this day because of it, but to do it just on your own is just as powerful, isn't it?
[Mary] yeah, it was it was for me, I mean it is for me, when I, you know, I pick it up and do it when I'm feeling angst towards someone or a situation and it's amazing how, you know, it changes, I mean I use it for situations also not just [inaudible]
[Carla] yeah, I just love that you said that. So what would be an example of a situation say that you've applied it, to just to get people thinking about that?
[Mary] Well, when someone, you feel like, goes behind your back and does something that you don't approve of, or they say something about you, or to you, that we you feel like you've been attacked or something.
[Carla] yeah, or I can imagine you had a, you know, like a flood in your house, or really hot outside, or the technical equipment doesn't work when you're trying to do an interview right you could do it it was kind of right it's not involved but it's a situation
[Mary] situations, yeah, yeah
[Carla] yeah, and the other thing that I know you do it with, which I think is really important, is forgiveness towards yourselves
[Mary] yes, and like when you were talking about projecting, it's like you are forgiving yourself
[Mary] and that's that's part of it, and it's it's in here subtly that you're forgiving yourself, because you you know you're doing your part to cut all the ties and everything that's causing the problem not just the other person
[Carla] really important, and we all have our areas of judgment about ourselves that, you know, the way we like to negate our self
[Carla] and I remember doing that prayer when I was giving a presentation a bunch of things didn't go well, some of which you could say was my fault, and some we're out of my control, but I was noticing myself beating myself up about it and saying, oh how could I do that, and then I did the prayer with myself and I let it go and it stopped triggering me, which was so important because I had another presentation to give, but I do that self judgment [inaudible] so that's a huge job as well
[Mary] yeah, it really is because they some are not they're just saying the prayer you know get you off that hamster wheel of negativity, and I don't know whether it's just changing your focus but it certainly magically melted all my animosities away
[Carla] and as the founder of Women Healing the World, I know you said it's important that people find inner peace whereas they're trying to create peace out in the world, and I know that's one of the main focuses of what you do
[Mary] right, yes, peace begins with me and I find that this you know this prayer is very helpful as far as achieving peace
[Carla] yeah, because I know you're interested in gender issues and racial issues and values issues
[Mary] single moms, yes, financial poverty, people being able to make it in the world without struggling so
[Carla] yeah, I mean a lot of conflict in the world comes out of those places, doesn't it? obscene, don't like her feeling financially constricted or feeling like you have too many obligations and so you're really out there with a group of committed women trying to help all those situations
[Mary] yeah, and I will say, you know, I used this on my finances also. I was a struggling single mom in there knows amazing because I think the more worry you put into something, the more you're driving the possibility of prosperity away from you instead of toward you, and you know I finally got to a place where I remember at first I was terrified of like, credit card companies, you know, like somebody was gonna come get me, you know, and finally I realized that this is a company, they could really care less about me, all I want is my money, you know, why am I so terrified...what am I giving all this power to something that I don't really need to be afraid of? so you can certainly use it, like, if you're worried about your creditors, it's another good place to use the prayer
[Carla] just we get so many people get terrorized about money, even if they have lots of money they start worrying what if I lose my money and they don't have much money, well where's the money gonna come from? and bad energy, as you say, creates more scarcity thinking so
[Mary] that's right, I hope people try it, because it's so magical and it's so easy, and I have to do this prayer on people who I'll give it to you who are really in a bad place and they won't use it
[Carla] yeah, that happens, right? Somebody feels upset with you but you could do that prayer just thinking about them. I don't know if this is something to you as well, obviously it did with your ex-husband Keith, but I notice all of a sudden they'll call me the next day they go I don't know why I was feeling so upset, I feel much better now
[Carla] so, I just wanted people to know how to, obviously there's the link which will put here so you can see it on here this recording, to get the prayer for yourself, so you just give your email address and that gets sent to you by email or you can download it right from the page, and and just also their WomenHealingTheWorld.com is the website. There's a Facebook group you can join as well, there's a local meetup in Texas, and there's probably there's gonna be more chapter starting so anything else that you want people to know about Women Healing the World and what you do and what your vision things coming up
[Mary] we would love for people to join us, we're a group of women who look for problems and ways to solve them, and you know, everybody has different ideas but we're picking one project at a time, and right now our focus is going to be on some sort of micro finance in some way to help help people who are struggling with money not get further into debt
[Carla] good, and so let's just deal with some questions that came in and see you might relate to some of these questions, and you can ask a question as well. A common question is what if the person I need to forgive has already passed away?
[Mary] well, it doesn't matter you can still do it whether they're physically here or in spirit, because if it's going to change you, I don't know what it does for people on the other side, it might also help them I don't know I'm still curious about that, but I know it that will help you have peace
[Carla] yeah, and so many people lose people your life without having done any kind of forgiveness and then regret, I know I did that, I was fighting with my mother when she died, I didn't know she was gonna die when she did, and so when I did that forgiveness prayer with her, because I know years before I did it, I wish I'd done it earlier
[Mary] a lot sooner
[Mary] yeah, and you can just envision them sitting there with you as you read this same process, but again I think it'll be magical
[Carla] great, and here's another question, what if I do the prayer and I don't feel anything different?
[Mary] I will admit that when I first read it I didn't feel anything, you know, but I just kept doing it, like I said, because I trusted Pat and I didn't really feel like I had made a big shift, until I observed my behavior, so it wasn't like an awareness while I was in the process but as time went on and now I realized that I felt and how I realized that I was acting so much different then I had been before
[Carla] right, so it can be gradual so the thing to do is notice oh I'm reacting less, oh yeah, not in my stomach as much
[Mary] yeah, that didn't push my buttons, you know, if somebody said something in there just I let it go
[Carla] yeah so those are really good things to notice that it's working, it's very subtle
[Mary] yeah, very subtle, yeah, at least it was for me it might be you know might be different for somebody else
[Carla] yeah, I've done it where it's been both ways, I felt this huge release and other times it's, as you say, subtler and here's another question, what are you really saying when you repeat this prayer for example, what if you don't want to ask for forgiveness or feel loving?
[Mary] well, again, I think it's fake it till you make it. you don't you don't have to feel loving and you don't have to want to forgive, but you need to have the awareness that if you don't forgive, it's not having an impact on the other person, it's hurting you, and they have found that you know we make ourselves ill by all the negative things that we carry around with us, so it's self-inflicted
[Carla] and inaudible][ allows the vital life force energy back into yourselves
[Mary] I will say, like, when we did it as a class when we do it as a class there was a tremendous, you know, it's like people talk about coming together for prayer, power of the group, so when the whole group was doing this together you know they were doing their individual forgiveness but we're doing the process as a group, there would be big releases sometimes for people and yes, definitely people looked more a lot more alive, more alert
[Carla] yeah, and that's something you can do is get together with a group and do it and do it I know you've done that I've done that just watching someone else go through a forgiveness present is powerful sometimes to see you doing it yourself
[Mary] yeah, yeah
[Carla] so anything else you want to add as a final thought?
[Mary] give it a try, it's really easy and it is profoundly life-changing, at least it was for me
[Mary] no, you don't have to go to a therapist, you don't have to relive all the bad stuff, you just say the prayer
[Carla] yeah, yes so much for talking on this subject, it's one of my favorite subjects and I know it's very important for people to hear is what you hear your story, so thank you
[Mary] well thank you for having me, I appreciate being able to share my story
[Carla] alright, ok until next time everyone, thank you so much for listening
[Mary] thanks Carla, bye [Music ♫]
Want a copy of the prayer for yourself?