Ua Ola Loko i Ke Aloha (Love Gives Life Within)
Mindful Forgiveness with Aloha
Keywords:Aloha, mindfulness, forgiveness
Aloha is more than a greeting of “hello” and “good-bye.” Native Hawaiians believe Aloha is a foundational cultural value encompassing love, compassion, and respect. Mindful Forgiveness is a process of releasing negative emotions and thoughts towards a person, or persons, or event (e.g., COVID, cancer) who has caused a grievance, harm, or offense to increase feelings of hope and peace. In this paper, we explore the role of Aloha in enhancing the Mindful Forgiveness process. Via a peer support group with individuals practicing Mindful Forgiveness, we found that incorporating Aloha values and practices into the forgiveness process helped participants let go of resentment and anger towards the grievance and offender and led to increased feelings of peace and well-being in a cultural context. Moʻolelo (stories) and our lived experiences and other findings suggest that incorporating the values and practices of Aloha into Mindful Forgiveness may deeply enhance the therapeutic benefits of releasing grievances and facilitating healing. Further research is needed to fully understand the potentiality of Aloha in promoting Mindful Forgiveness with Aloha in healing grievances and kaumaha (heavy grief).
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