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  • Mike X

Ten Magic Words To Heal Any Relationship


If you don’t already know about the ancient Hawaiian tradition called Ho’Oponopono, this article may change your life.

The original version of Ho’Oponopono dates back centuries, but what people around the world practice now began 25 years ago.

The story I’m about to tell you may or may not be true.

I choose to believe it’s true. But the fact that the ten words at the core of Ho’Oponopono can make a profound difference in people’s lives is undeniable.

I’ve seen it multiple times, and I’ve used it myself.

Here’s the story:

In the 1980s, the Hawaii State Hospital had a ward where they kept people who were deemed criminally insane.

And it was a horrible place. There were brutal attacks every day—on patients and staff.

It was like a horror movie version of a psych ward.

People would get hired to work there, and they’d quit on their first day, pretty regularly.

The ones who didn’t quit would call in sick all the time.

A psychologist named Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len came in and changed everything.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

Here’s how he described what happened:

“‘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.

Not only that, but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. “

So, how did Dr Len cure an entire ward of criminally insane patients?

Well, the hospital gave him an office, where he’d go every day.

But he never met any of the patients.

Here’s what he’d do in his office:

He’d pick up a patient’s file and read through their entire history—all the horrific things they did, what the doctors said about them, family history, everything.

And then, he would close his eyes, focus his full attention on the person, and repeat the following ten words. over and over, as he thought about them:

"I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you."

He just keep saying it...

“I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.”

And, doing this—never meeting a single patient in person—he cured every one of them.

When someone asked him how that happened, he said:

“I was simply healing that part of me that created them.”

Now, even for the most spiritual people, it’s hard not to be skeptical about that.

BUT, the thing is—it doesn’t matter whether this story is true or not.

These ten words have massive power.

The idea is that they combine love, forgiveness, repentance and gratitude.

And that is the recipe for magic.

Here’s why:

Love and gratitude are the two most powerful positive emotions.

The more you can live in those two places, the happier your life will be.

Now, I know what you’re thinking….

“Alright, Mike, I’m gonna walk around all day long, every day, just thinking about how I love everyone, and I’m grateful for everything.

Which means, I’m gonna have zero time to get shit done.

And, pretty soon, I won’t be able to put food on the table.

Then how grateful and loving am I gonna feel?”

Well… yeah, decent point.

But if you did everything in your life—including work—with a mindset rooted in love and gratitude, I guarantee you’d get more work done, and get better results.

Love and gratitude lift you up to a higher plane.

And forgiveness and repentance are the two most valuable feelings that can repair any relationship—including your relationship with yourself.

Consider what happens when you say these words to yourself:

“I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.”

If you really mean it—all four parts of it—think about what that does to your feelings about yourself. And what it does to your overall wellbeing.

It eliminates negative emotions.

(And, by the way, the ancient Hawaiians believed that these emotions— especially anger—caused illness, and sometimes death. I’d say they were pretty much on the mark with that.)

What’s even more powerful is the effect these words have on our relationships with others.

Think of a relationship you have that’s in need of repair.

You could, if you wanted to, sit in a room by yourself, like Dr Len in Hawaii, thinking about the other person and repeating the ten magic words.

But what works even better is to say those words directly to the person—and not to just say them once, but to keep repeating them, over and over.

If you really want a miracle, once you’ve said it like ten times, you get them to say it ten times.

Now, this might not be the best thing to do with your boss or a client.

But... husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent or child—even if there’s no specific thing to apologize for or be angry about, these ten words...

“I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.”

...these ten words penetrate people’s defenses—and their brains—at the deepest level.

They speak to the soul.

And if you want to 10X it, you and the other person hold hands—their left hand with your right hand and vice versa.

And say the words together, at the same time, over and over.

There will be tears. For sure.

But they’ll be good tears.

And the effects will last a long time.

The translation of the word Ho’Oponopono from Hawaiian to English is:

to make right.

And, if you want to make yourself right—and make your relationships right—all you need to do is repeat these words:

“I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.”



This article is an excerpt of the forthcoming book, Your Best Life: Tactics, Tools and Insights to Create a Life of Fulfillment, Joy and Abundance, by Mike X — to be released on March 14, 2023.

Originally published on Illumination.


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