In the past, I’ve skirted around grieving, sashayed away prematurely (though outwardly nobly) because I didn’t want to endure the muck and messiness, the tenacious, persistent roller coaster of emotions. I am a planner by nature, and to not know how I would feel from one moment to the next was just not something I could bear gracefully. At least I didn’t think so. Plus I didn’t want to burden others who prefer to be around a funny, lighthearted me.

Grief unattended is a tar baby, a sticky gooey mess of emotional debris.

In the short tenure of my dedication to see my 2012 words – stay and surprise – made flesh, I’ve been treated to all sorts of inexplicable, delightful happenstances. Or, as Quakers say, “Way opens.” Like this: last night as I muddled around in my journal about grief, as I tried to stay with the tumultuous emotions without falling into the familiar patterns of pointing fingers and defending myself and all that, I happened upon an online article about Ho’oponopono. Today, despite several hours worth of trying, I can’t find that link anywhere. Did it come from a friend’s Facebook posting? Did I stumble upon it? Why doesn’t it show up in my history?

I am perplexed.

And intrigued.

I google, and though I can’t find that particular article, I learn that Ho’oponopono is where we take responsibility for and clean with anything we perceive to be a problem. It’s the ultimate emptying, done with gratitude, openness, willingness. It’s a way to clear the tar baby of all old dramas, resentments, agonies such as things I wish I’d said. The theory is that it’s only from this point – called the zero point – that there’s room for new to enter . . . new ideas, new ways, new inspiration. It’s a way of accepting responsibility, expressing gratitude, letting go, making way by holding the emotion/situation/person/whatever and saying four things with utmost sincerity:

I love you.
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

Though being fluent only in English and Southern I know I’ll never be able to pronounce it, Ho’oponopono seems just the ticket now: a process resulting in detachment from the junk of the past, in clarity, in freedom. Things I seek. And so today I begin to create a new way of being, even if my tongue trips and tangles in the process.

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