Our hearts have been heavy as news of the devastating wildfires in Hawaii continue to emerge. 💔 Over 2,700 homes and businesses have been destroyed and more than 100 people and counting have perished, making it the most deadly U.S. wildfire in over a century. It is overwhelming to grasp the levels of loss, shock, and trauma people are facing there.
This event hits close to home for us, reminding us of the harrowing experience of evacuating our home from wildfires 2 summers ago, our friend KD losing his entire home and music shop in the Dixie wildfire, as well as the newly constant fear of summer fires and months of unhealthy smoke that increasingly plague our neighbors both here and around the world.
While we have never had the pleasure to visit Lahaina together, Nathan’s dad and step-mom recently visited after our wedding and we were able to marvel at the rich beauty and culture through their photos and stories. Many in our Wakes community have a strong connection to Hawaii, and the spirit of Aloha the people and land transmit to the world.
Among the many beautiful gifts the Hawaiian people have offered the world, we have been deeply inspired by the indigenous practice of reconciliation and forgiveness called Ho’oponopono.
As we understand it, the word ‘pono’ translates, “to be in balance”, and thus bringing what is out of balance back into balance. Often used with groups or families in conflict, it calls for us to make things right by first acknowledging the wrongs that have been done, as well as opening our hearts to forgiveness. Hawaiian historian, educator, and activist Kumu Sabra Kauka says, “It is much bigger to forgive, than to carry the burden of blame.”
This practice teaches us the importance of meeting our transgressions against those we love, bringing them out into the open, and expressing the many feelings of those involved. The process leads participants through acknowledgment, apologizing, asking for forgiveness, releasing the past, and then restoring connection.
The words of this song are part of a mantra that was inspired by this rich and transformative practice. The prayer is simple yet powerful stating,
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
It captures a small essence of the Ho’oponopono practice and can guide us through our own process of reconciliation when we need it.
We hope you can use it to release old hurts, forgive others and yourself, and find peace in the face of wrongdoings. In light of the wildfires and other natural disasters accelerating as a result of climate change, it also takes on deeper meaning when used to pray for reconciliation with the Earth itself.
May our version of this song serve your practice and your heart. ❤️
Help Maui Heal
If you feel called to support the people of Maui in their recovery, please consider donating to these organizations. Even a small amount helps. 🙏🏼