One of the greatest discoveries of the ancient kahunas was that love works better than anything else as a tool for effective action. Jesus taught similarly. For the Huna masters, the first thing to consider in our desire to feel compassionate love for the world is always our love for ourselves. Your connection with yourself is the most basic relationship you have. If you are not in harmony with yourself, if you don’t have a loving relationship with yourself, you will then feel lack in your relationship with others. How do we learn to have a more loving relationship with ourselves – how do we come to feel genuine love for our own being? When we look again at the word aloha, we gain the most important insight: alo means “to be with” and oha means “to feel joy, happiness, contentment, peace.” Furthermore, Ha directly points us to our own breath experience in the present moment.
So the message of aloha is clear: We need to be here in the present moment in full awareness of our presence and to feel joy, happiness and contentment at the core of our being. When we have this feeling in our hearts, we are more effective at attracting complementary hearts that feel similarly. We all have the ultimate power to choose what we’re going to think, to choose how we’re going to see the world around us and how we’re going to see ourselves.
We’ve now come to the point where we can ask: Are we going to continue seeing the world as somehow imperfect? Are we going to continue judging ourselves as bad, inadequate, wrong, sinful, not-good-enough? Are we going to continue making ourselves suffer chronic mental anguish (guilt, fear,depression, anger, hatred) and even physical illness because we don’t love ourselves just as we are?
When we choose to focus on ourselves and the world from the perspective of judgment and criticism, we drop out of the aloha experience and sink into what the Hawaiians call kehena – living hell. When we choose to focus on our world and ourselves from the perspective of happiness and praise, we move into the state of aloha.