Ho’oponopono #4: Acceptance & Resistance

The true power of Ho’oponopono is in helping us achieve a state of acceptance and happiness. The concept of not resisting being happy in our lives sounds simple, but it isn’t. Today I present a story in dialogue about the role of the Yes & No states of being. Let’s see what we can learn from “Donna.”


“Hey, Donna, how was your vacation?”

“The worst!  I mean everyone was loud and raucous, and all they wanted to do was drink and party.  It wasn’t for me at all.”

“Didn’t you know the kind of place you were going  when you signed up?”

“Yeah, but I was hoping for something different.  Someone different. It wasn’t at all what I expected, I guess.  A real disappointment, is all I’ve got to say. The food was so-so, and nobody really wanted to talk to me.  No guys were interested in just talking, and a couple of people who did talk with me were thrilled with our current administration and there’s no way I could talk any sense into them.  I mean, don’t they know our national parks and everything else sacred is being threatened now and the economy is a mess, families are being torn apart, and to tell you the truth I hate that I’ve got to go back to work on Monday.  Nobody there appreciates me and I really hate my job. So yeah, I guess I’m kinda miserable right now. Oh well, that’s life, and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Just gotta live with it, yuh know?”

“Actually, no I don’t know.  That’s no way to live. Being miserable all the time?  Hating your job? Not enjoying a vacation? Thinking the state of the world is everyone else’s fault?  I don’t think so, Donna. I know you can do better than that.”

“Oh yeah?  Tell me how.  Nothing in my life ever goes right.  What’s gonna make it change?”

“You, girl, only you.  Can we work on altering your belief system so it might start working for you instead of against you?”

“How?  And don’t give me all that garbage about laws of attraction, because they don’t work.  I’m living proof of it. No matter how many affirmations I repeat, they don’t work for me.”

“Actually, Donna, they are working for you every minute of every day.  You just don’t realize that they’re always at work, vibrating to the frequencies you’re putting out into the universe.  Affirmations are wonderful if your emotions match what you’re saying. If you don’t believe what you affirm, they still work – but they respond to your emotions, not your words.

“Let’s consider that all those things that went wrong on your vacation don’t even exist anymore.  You say it was an unpleasant experience, so let’s just let it go and don’t replay it again and again, making it worse than it might have really been.  Don’t you know that those thoughts or events happened already and they’re not happening now? So why replay them as though they’re still happening, since they’re history, and you’re living in the present.  There’s a quote that I can’t remember exactly, but it’s about yesterday being history, tomorrow a mystery, which is why today is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present. The present is the only moment that is.  Knowing that, isn’t it crazy how we allow so many things that took place in our past to control our current lives and block us from our higher good? Kinda like putting a car in reverse and expecting it to go forward.”

“When you put it like that, hmmm…”

“There are really only two states of being, and they are…”

“Good and bad?  Happy and unhappy?”

“Yes and no.  We tend to live in either one state or another:  acceptance or resistance. When we’re unhappy about something we’re in a state of resistance.  When we experience joyful moments we’re living in a state of acceptance.”

“Well, when I don’t like something I do my best not to think about it, or I ignore it to the best of my ability.”

“How does that work for you?”

“Usually it keeps me awake at night, taunting me.”

“Aha.  That which we resist persists.

“But how can you accept something that’s horrible, like what went on years ago in Rwanda?  Or high school shootings that make no sense? People hurting or killing other people for no good reason makes me furious and my insides are so wound up that my stomach hurts a lot.  Doesn’t it make you want to go and do something about it? At least go to a protest or something?”

“Ok, Donna, I understand your pain as a response to horrific things happening.  I think that’s a gut response for most of us. But then we’ve got to think mindfully at that point, and rather than promote the negative feelings by adding ours to others’ negative feelings, it is in the world’s and certainly our best interest to do our best to neutralize what we’re feeling.  We start by not focusing on that which is bothering us. The more we focus on it, the more we attract more of the same to us or to the world in general.”

“And exactly how would you recommend that I “neutralize” painful emotions and thoughts?”

“Remember when we talked about ho’oponopono a few weeks ago when you stopped by?  That’s the way I ‘erase’ the negative emotions that visit me. I start by giving recognition to the problem and accepting my responsibility for its existence.

“How can it be your responsibility that some kid went and shot a bunch of other kids in school in Orlando recently?  Were you there or something?”

“No, Donna, but I am aware of the problem’s existence, and of my emotional response to it, so therefore I accept responsibility for my contribution emotionally to the problem.  Once I accept responsibility, rather than focus on the negative aspects of it I work to erase its power by placing myself in a state of love, forgiveness, and gratitude. This lets me help erase it.  However, if I get all angry about something and join a protest and march with a bunch of other angry people, imagine how much more anger we’re actually putting out into the universe and attracting by spewing anger!  Love and forgiveness are the only methods where we can neutralize negative occurrences. Gratitude, being grateful for everything every moment of every day, gives you more to be grateful for. So I choose to live in those states as much of my day as possible to keep from sinking into the woe-is-me state of resistance.    

Those four phrases I told you about are all I use to ‘clean’ or ‘erase’ problems:  I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, and thank you.  I repeat them until I no longer feel the negative power of the existing problem, and that means I am no longer putting that negative energy out into the universe, which means I am also no longer attracting that type of pain back to me again, nor am I adding to the burden of the universe.  Simply put, what we put out there comes back to us via laws of attraction.”

“This is so out of my realm of thinking I’m getting confused.  All I know is I’m not very happy and I’m always trying to be happy but I don’t know how.  I went on vacation hoping I’d find happiness, but that sure didn’t happen. It always escapes me and finds someone else.  I’m probably always meant to be lonely.” (NOTE: This is “Donna’s” big mistake – reread the previous paragraphs and see if you can spot it.)

“Oh, Donna, I’m sorry. I’m obviously having trouble communicating to you how important your words are.  I’m sure it’s my responsibility, and you would understand if I explained myself better. Let me just say that you’ll never be happy by ‘trying’ to be happy.  Like Yoda said in Star Wars, “No try – Do. Or do not. There is no ‘try’.”  That happiness you’re hoping to find somewhere, such as on vacation, has to be found inside you before you’ll ever find it outside yourself.  You often say you don’t love where you live because you don’t care for the people, but until you find yourself happy in the city you won’t find yourself happy in the mountains or anywhere else. Happiness truly comes from within where we create it with our thoughts.  And the thoughts you are dwelling on, such as, ‘happiness always escapes me and finds someone else,’ and ‘I’m probably always meant to be lonely’ are nothing more than self-fulfilling prophecies if you keep repeating them and thinking those thoughts. Why not think about what a great human being you are and how fortunate someone will be who gets to meet you and take part in your life.  Tell yourself you love yourself and mean it, really mean it. Use the ho’oponopono phrases until you feel the glow of happiness inside. Then you’ll know you’re on the right track.”

“I’ll give it a shot, Doc.  I really want to be happy.”

“And I would love to see you experience happiness on a steady basis.  Let’s talk more about this next time we get together, ok? Until then, do your best to stay away from people who might drag you down, and stay focused on accepting as opposed to resisting.

As the previous story illustrates, there are only two states of being – acceptance and resistance. When we repeat negative thoughts and phrases to ourselves, turning them over and over in our heads, we contribute to the over-all negative “vibe” of the universe. There are over seven billion human beings on this incredible planet on which we live. Centuries of negative thoughts – from “I’m worried about my loved one’s health.” to “how will I ever pay this bill?” have built up in the atmosphere of the world at large – THAT is the real reason we are living in the times we are right now. And only by individually focusing on acceptance rather than resistance – on accepting our responsibility for the negativity in the world and erasing it with love and forgiveness – will we begin to see a change in the world at large.

That change starts within each of us. And ho’oponopono is the key to the change.