What Does Ho’oponopono Mean?

by: Eloise Kruger
Learn all about the Hawaiian word for "forgiveness."
Two Hawaian Girls with Arms Around Each Other

Did you ever have to say sorry for something you have done wrong to someone? In Hawaii, Ho'oponopono means: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” The direct translation in English is “to make right.”

Traditional Hawaiians believed that all life is connected to each other, and by practicing Ho’oponopono, they heal themselves, other people, and the world around them.

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Hawaiians wish to live a life of pono. To them, every action in life is either pono or not. Being pono means being in perfect balance with all things in life — to live a life of righteousness. Pono means that you have good relationships with your family members, friends, and all people you meet. It means your relationships with others are always fair and good, without anger or jealousy. All arguments and conflict can be cured with ho'oponopono or forgiveness, the process of “making right.” They use ho'oponopono to fix relationships that have gone wrong.

Forgiveness is Healthy
Forgiveness means letting go of hard feelings like anger or sadness when someone else does something wrong. It doesn’t mean that what the person did isn’t wrong anymore; it means that you find it in your heart to give the person another chance. It isn’t good to hang onto feelings of anger and sadness — forgiveness is healthy.

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