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How to Let Go of Pain and Trauma

Photo of Kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai

How can you let go of pain and trauma caused by another person? I get it. Sometimes, it plays over and over in your brain and gets really hard.

The short answer is…Be Like Bob.

The long answer has to do with the two concepts: Ho’oponopono and Mana’o Pono.


Ho’oponopono is the action of being in harmony with yourself, with others and with the divine.

Mana’o Pono is having your thoughts be in alignment with who you are, what you want your relationship with others to be and is aligned with your divine connection.

Bob had both.

When Bob was a young man, there was a terrible accident that left him paralyzed.

He and his best friend were playing around and somehow the friend got hold of a gun. It was just a game. The gun wasn’t loaded, so he aimed at Bob and BANG.

The gun fired.

A bullet hit Bob’s neck and he fell backwards down the stairs. At 17 year old, Bob was a paraplegic.

As he rehabilitated, Bob went on to college and eventually became an accountant working at a medical center. In this medical center, he was introduced to a beautiful nurse. They fell in love. They got married and life went on.

A few decades later, this friend was going through life crisis and depression. He was in a very dark place. All the childhood memories of causing trauma to his best friend by firing the shotgun were up for him.

Bob took his beautiful wife, got on a plane and went to visit his friend.

“It wasn’t your fault. I absolutely forgive you. It was already forgiven even before it happened. I love you. I would never hold it against you.

Besides, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, ” Bob said.

Bob lived a beautiful life. He was a respected member of the hospital administrative staff. He was part of a men’s chorus ministry sharing love and hope in church communities throughout Southern California.

Looking at Bob, you would never know how difficult it was for him to do the every day things we take for granted. Like getting to work on time.

Each morning, Bob would have to get up as early as three or four in the morning in order to prepare his body for work. He had to empty and clean out his food bag. I don’t think we need all of the details to imagine all the other aspects of self-care.

All these details…just to be able to show up at work!

Bob did it with grace. He did it with a smile on his face and he did it with joy.


Bob passed away from complications a few weeks ago and his wife was sharing at the funeral about what life was like being married to Bob.

“He called me Shug as everyone knows, but I’m not sure everyone knows how I got that nickname. Most people could guess it is short for sugar, but he always said that I was the sugar in his lemonade.

Because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

I was married to Bob for more than 40 years and if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would be Bob’s wife in a heartbeat. I would give anything to just have one more day with this man who was an extraordinary soul.”

Bob was a beautiful example of Mana’o Pono, keeping your thoughts in a positive place. This practice is really in alignment with our divine nature, our divine connection. Mana’o Pono fuels our interactions with ourselves and with one another. His life and legacy are left behind for anyone who knew him.

Harmonious thoughts are so powerful. They shape and give mana, power, to our will.

Our will can be incredibly strong. Resolve is what gets us through. It’s a force to be reckoned with and we are the caretakers of that will.

We can decide that we have been dealt a bad deck of cards or we can take what comes our way and use our positive outlook, our willpower to win the game.

This practice of Hoʻoponopono, being in alignment with ourselves, with others, and with the divine, has the potential to bring harmony even in the most disharmonic and uncomfortable situations.

Ho’oponopono brings love, forgiveness and mercy into our every day.

Healing with Mercy

We all know what love is and forgiveness, but what is mercy?

Mercy says that no matter what has been, what is happening now and no matter what will be, I forgive you.

When I look at this story of Bob, I see a win. A win for Bob, his wife, his friend and anybody that knew him.

Let it be a win for you. Today, let’s make lemonade.

If you want to know more about Hoʻoponopono, we have an immersion coming up in August. We’ll be doing an advanced Hoʻoponopono training during that workshop. See the details at

And if you want to talk to someone about our Lomi Lomi workshops, you can always Book a Call. We would love to welcome you into our many courses so that more of our lives and outlooks will be like Bob’s.

Tell me…what is an area of your life that could use some lemonade? I’m here to help, so ask me anything!

With aloha,

Photo of Kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai

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