This technique has been developed by Dr. Hew Len, a Hawaiian doctor of psychology. A complete description of this technique can be found in the book “Zero Limits”, written by Joe Vitale and authorized by Dr. Len himself.
In this book it is told that Dr. Len managed to heal all the patients in a psychiatric hospital, who were criminals who had not been sent to jail because they had been found to have committed their crimes because they were mentally ill. Most shockingly, Dr. Len reportedly never saw any patients directly. Instead, the only thing he did in the two or three years of therapy with them was to read their medical records describing their various disorders, and for each “problem” he read, he repeated the following phrases several times:
I’m sorry. Forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Dr. Len’s idea is that we are all mirrors of each other. So that what we observe as a defect or problem, or even virtue, in others, are our own traits that are also present in us to a greater or lesser extent. Ho’oponopono is about healing oneself. The one to whom it is applied. The idea is that, if you heal in yourself what another person (your “mirror”) shows you, when it is healed in you, that person will stop showing that trait too; since he can no longer be your mirror of something that has already ceased to be in you. In you, it has been healed. And so, he heals himself as well. That is, Dr. Len took what he read in patients’ charts as something to be healed in himself. As long as his patients continued to exhibit unhealthy behaviors while he was there, he interpreted it as still being something to be healed in itself and the above phrases continued to apply.
The four phrases above have a specific meaning that I think you can find on the blog. Those, and specifically those, have a reason for being.
As a curiosity, it has taken me five years to get this technique to work with me and, therefore, with others.