For audio version link: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/W11GZ1Ns
Last weekend I went on a spiritual retreat with a group of amazing women. Imagine in your mind, twenty women all hanging out for two days and two nights in one large “sitting” room where we talked, listened, meditated and ate…, or I should say grazed throughout the weekend. A group of twenty women where most of us had never met each other before meeting up last Friday evening.
I have to be honest, two years ago, I would have never, ever considered going on a retreat with a bunch of women I had never met…, in fact, I am not sure I would have done it with a bunch of women who I knew! As with other things that occur with age, I have found that I enjoy doing things that a younger me would never have done.
On Friday night, each one of us took a turn telling the group on why we came to the retreat and I found that most of us had similar reasons…, we wanted some time to connect our inner spirit with the inner light of other people who all believe that we have a greater purpose in this life. A greater purpose to shine light and positive energy throughout our lives. By Sunday afternoon, we all had developed a kinship with one another…, we were a family.
Families can be the group of people we were born into, the ones we were adopted into, the ones we married into, and the ones we grow into through our friendships and spiritual interactions, whether it be through a particular religious sect or just through life circumstances. Family…, a pretty broad spectrum of various configurations and members depending on who we are and where our connections are made.
While spending time with this new family of mine this past weekend, I learned about Ho’oponopono – a Hawaiian prayer that gained notoriety after being used by Dr. Hew Len, a psychologist with a prison for the criminally insane at Hawaii State Hospital. A hospital that housed extremely dangerous people…, a hospital where staff called in sick or quit their jobs because the environment was downright scary. The physical environment was decayed with paint peeling on the walls…, a place where I imagine dark energy and negativity permeated the air.
Patients were heavily shackled but that did nothing to appease the fear of the hospital staff. If they had to pass an inmate in the halls, they backed up closely to the walls and tried to pass any inmate with the greatest amount of space between themselves and the prisoners. The psychologists that worked there would quit on a regular basis until finally, Dr. Hew Len arrives.
The doctor would come to the hospital and retire into his office. He never saw a patient but would ask for files of the inmates to be brought to him on occasion. This routine continued for some time when he was finally asked what he was doing and why he never had a patient brought to him for evaluation or counseling? Dr. Hew Len explained that he was healing himself and his belief was that by healing himself, he was healing his patients. What? What kind of psychological treatment plan is that?
Amazingly, under Dr. Hew Len’s tenure, the prison environment changed. Inmates improved in their behaviors…, shackles were removed…, patients were discharged…, staff started coming to work, and people actually wanted to work at the prison. Ultimately, the ratio of patients to staff became so low because of the successful rehabilitation of the patients and moving them out of the prison, the prison closed down. The darkness had lifted…
Dr. Hew Len believed that as a human being, he was responsible for everything in his life… and since these patients were in his life…, he was responsible for each of them. As I read about Dr. Hew Len, the tune “We are the World” was playing in my head:
We are the world, we are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving. There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives…
when you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all but if you just believe, there’s no way we can fall…”
We are all part of a much bigger family and when a member of our family is suffering, we can take responsibility to heal ourselves so that we can help heal others. Per Dr. Hew Len, all it takes is saying this simple prayer with true conviction:
“I Love You
I am Sorry
Yes, one man changed his world…, that small piece of his world that housed a group of criminally insane patients…
What if we all decided to say this prayer several times a day? What if we could heal our families…, the families that consist of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children and yes, strangers…?
For my worldly family, I say this prayer that I may be healed so that you in turn may be healed…
I love you. I am sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.
Are you ready to A.A.C.T. Today?