by Joe Vitale
"Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients--without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate's chart and then look within himself to see how that person's illness struck a chord of believability in himself and then correct that belief so that it no longer made any sense to himself for such a condition to exist. As he improved himself- his own personal beliefs, the patient improved.
"When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It didn't make any sense. It wasn't logical, so I dismissed the story.
"However, I heard it again a year later I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho 'oponopono I had never heard of it, yet I couldn't let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more.
I had always understood "total responsibility" to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do, beyond that, it's out of my hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We're responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does--but that's wrong.
"The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility. His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist.
He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.
Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.
After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely. Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed. I was in awe.'Not only that, but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.
This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?
"I was simply healing the part of me that created my concepts about them," he said.
I didn't understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life- simply because it is in your life--is your responsibility.
In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.
"Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this - if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy or anything you experience and don't like--is up to you to heal. To you, they don't exist outside of your awareness of them, in a manner of speaking, except as projections or ideas about them from inside you. The problem is in your awareness of them and so from where you sit and experience life, the problem isn't with them, it's within your estimates of them, and to change them, you simply have to make up your mind to change your mind about them... you have to change your personal awareness of them.
"I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho 'oponopono means loving yourself."
"If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you."
I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients' files?
"'I just kept saying, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' over and over again,' he explained.
"That's it." he said. It turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world."
Let me give you a quick example of how this works as I later discovered for myself. One day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent the nasty message. This time, I decided to try Dr. Len's method. I kept silently saying until I really felt it, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you,' I didn't say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance. Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn't take any outward action to get that apology. I didn't even write him back. Yet, by saying 'I love you,' I somehow healed within me what was creating his behaviors. I later attended a ho 'oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He's now 70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive.
I have written a book called The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve myself, my book's vibration will rise, and everyone will feel it when they read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.
"'What about the books that are already sold and out there?" I asked.
"They aren't out there," he explained, once again blowing my mind with his mystic wisdom.
"They are still in you. In short, there is no out there. All things that you think are out there are only ideas you have inside yourself about what you think is 'out there' and what appears to be 'out there' in the world." (It would take a whole book to explain this advanced technique with the depth it deserves.) Suffice It to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there's only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it with only loving understanding and send only loving thoughts to those ideas of the people and things you have believed were all outside yourself."
I could have posted this in the healing forum, but I feel that this is at the very heart of our spirituality, at the heart of Spirit... it takes the "All Our Relations" and "We Are All One" to the next level of understanding and action. You all probably already know my beliefs around duality and polarity, about division and stuff. The "them" and "us", the "other"... I hope that this article touches you just as deeply as it touched me while reading it. I would like to thank Nojenna for being led to share it elsewhere, that brought it to my attention. It has only been a few days since it was posted, but it has totally changed the way I interact with my world. And that is why I am posting it here in Shamanism and Spirituality.