I’ll bet many of you are nodding thinking, ‘oh, I wish my family could do that.’ We all think it’s only our family that has issues. Then we mention it to a friend by the water cooler and, next thing you know, there’s a crowd, each person with their own version of the same story. ‘He said’ and so ‘I said’, back and forth.

Healing family issues is difficult for many reasons. Current problems are tied to past problems. Then there’s sibling rivalry. And Mom loved your sister more than she loved you. And if you didn’t have a sister, you know in your heart that your mom always wanted you to have one (I stole this comment from an old cassette tape by Dr. Wayne Dyer). Oh boy!

Originally ho’oponopono was focused on healing families and groups of people rather than individuals. I imagine it was difficult, not just because of the feelings involved, but also because of the commitment required of all participants. “Successful ho’oponopono requires that all of the participants follow a prescribed set of procedures and have the right attitudes. It is important that all participants entering into the ritual do so with a sincere desire to correct wrongs. Confessions must be honest and from the heart; nothing can be held back.” That quote is from Mana Cards by Becker and Nardin, page 97. On the following page they continue listing requirements: “Ho’oponopono requires open, honest, non-judgmental communication. It is an indication that you need to carefully scrutinize your motivations, feelings, and behaviors and be willing to communicate about them.”

One of the biggest obstacles I see in the process is that ho’oponopono requires that the ritual end with everyone forgiving all wrongs and promising never to discuss them again once the ritual is concluded. That means not talking to anyone about them ever again. I don’t know how many people could do that. It would require strong commitment on their part. However, I believe it is the only way reconciliation could work effectively. Getting everyone to agree to it might be s stumbling block but I believe it is worth the try.