Ho‘oponopono is a Hawaiian expression that loosely translates as “to set things right.” We will be exploring a dialogue form of Ho’oponopono as it was taught to us. Whether you follow or adjust this process its essence involves taking responsibility, apologizing, acknowledging your appreciation and expressing gratitude. 

Within key relationships Ho‘oponopono is a great guide for bringing our hearts into aligned connection. It enables us to let go of past hurts, rebuild bridges, to acknowledge another and to establish what we most want to experience with them. 

Practice: Ho‘oponopono’s simplicity amplifies its power. It is actually a natural conversation or process most of us will have been through many times. The basic structure of the conversation is as follows: 

  1. “I’m sorry…” 
  2. “Please forgive me…” 
  3. “I love you…”
  4. “Thank you…” 

"its essence involves taking responsibility, apologizing, acknowledging your appreciation and expressing gratitude"


Step 1 asks you to apologize for anything you have wittingly or unwittingly done that may have hurt or adversely impacted another. Begin by simply stating you are sorry then go on to detail what you are sorry for. You may apologize for specific actions you have and/or have not taken, for what you have projected, withheld, how you have judged them and so on. Whatever the case, what is most important is that your apology is authentic and unconditionally devoid of the need for reciprocation. 

Step 2 asks you to make a clear request for forgiveness expressing your desire to be trusted. Such a request is humbling lets them know that your love for them is more powerful than your pride and gives them the option to openly embrace you again. 

Step 3 invites you to let another know how much you appreciate them through acknowledging who they are to you. The use of the word ‘love’ is not mandatory and may be inappropriate in certain contexts even if the essence is the same. At this point, let them know what you love about them, what qualities you appreciate, what capabilities you recognise and so on. You can also share how we will seek to honor them from this time on. To do this, create commitments and ask to be held accountable. 

Step 4 allows you to express your gratitude. Thank them for this conversation. Let them know what they bring to your life, how they bless, enrich and help you to grow. You can thank them for all we have experienced together and for what is yet to come. The more gratitude we can find the stronger our foundation becomes. As ever, keep it authentic! 

“Ho'oponopono enables us to let go of past hurts, rebuild bridges, to acknowledge another and to establish what we most want to experience with them. ”


The philosophical underpinnings of ho‘oponopono can be quite brain rattling. They presuppose the absolute interdependence and interconnection of all things. Thus all phenomena are responsible for all other phenomena. Thus if we are upset with the state of any relationship, social or environmental injustice and so on it is possible for us to take responsibility for this and, through the power of our prayer, contribute to the healing and transformation of absolutely anything.