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How Choosing to Hear Helps Me to Let Go of the Past (PLUS 9 Tips to Release Old Stories and Identities)

It’s been a long time coming (over a year to be precise) but I have finally chosen to hear. What do I mean by this? I was born hard of hearing and live with up to 85% hearing loss for the past 56 years. Wearing hearing aids has been my lifesaver as is my ability to lipread. However, this does make hearing sounds and conversations a daily struggle.


I’ve spent the past year witnessing my friend on her cochlear implant journey. The more she shared her experiences, the more I realized that I had a choice to change my story.

Carrying the “disability” badge was something I was used to and I believed I had no other option but to be hard-of-hearing. But, now I have a choice to hear but it meant letting go of an old identity.


Cochlear Implant: A New Opportunity to Hear AND Let Go of Yesterday’s Junk

I curiously watched, from the sidelines, as my brave friend, who also has Usher Syndrome, took the big leap to have a cochlear implant over a year ago. She was my guinea pig and she gladly complied, sharing her almost daily experiences, both good and bad.

I was in awe every time she identified a new sound – leaves rustling, a bird call, her dogs walking on tiled floors, the rain, and running water.


In October last year, despite some trepidation, I decided to take the leap of faith. It took another six months before I started the process of investigating a cochlear implant for myself. I had to be tested by an audiologist to confirm my eligibility for the procedure and I was shocked at just how deaf I was, even with my hearing aids!


What I wasn’t expecting was the deeply spiritual and emotional journey I was about to embark on. Choosing to hear made me realize that I can change old stories, and painful past experiences, that have held me back for so long. This realization is powerful and empowering, and I embraced the unraveling of my past history.


My friend jokingly calls this our new “eara” and that’s exactly what it is. I’m permitting myself to let go of years of conditioning, limiting beliefs, and outdated stories that no longer serve me. Admittedly, I started this letting go journey over 10 years ago but, stepping into my new “eara” means finally (and firmly) closing the door to allow new beginnings.  


9 Tips to Let Go of the Past and Live Your Truth

You don’t need to do something as drastic as having a cochlear implant to stop living in the past! When you live in the past, you’re holding yourself back from being your true SELF. Negative emotions surface and you give away your personal power to other people or situations.


Here are some tips I have used over the years to release what no longer serves me, including experiences I’ve had since choosing to hear. It’s an inner journey, and there’s no quick overnight fix. However, with commitment and a willingness to let go of yesterday’s stuff, you can take responsibility for your Truth. 


1. Choose to Have an Open Mindset

I had a very fixed mindset! Everything was black and white, there was no grey area. It was either right or wrong, no in between. It was everyone else’s fault, not mine. I was the master of blaming and justifying, I didn’t know what it meant to take responsibility for myself.


Fortunately, I was forced to change my way of thinking 10 years ago (I am a late starter) and I now embrace an open mindset. It’s not always perfect nor is it easy, especially when those triggers creep in.

However, through my shamanic and life coaching lessons, I’ve discovered the freedom that comes with taking responsibility and it starts with having an open mind.


2. Unpack Limiting Beliefs

I first had to accept that my conditioning drove my thoughts, emotions, and actions. Identifying your beliefs system, negative and positive, will help you to identify what stories you carry about yourself. My identity was heavily influenced by my disability and I believed I wasn’t good enough to do much, let alone contribute positively to society.


When I began unpacking my limiting beliefs, I identified that the stories I was shouldering belonged to others. My responsibility was to hand them back to their rightful owners and continue on my path to healing. This isn’t an easy task and requires deep introspection, letting go of blaming and justifying, taking responsibility, and forgiveness.


Releasing negative self-beliefs enables you to let go of the painful history that has dragged you down for so long.


3. Boost Empowering Beliefs

If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, it’s harder to recognize that you have empowering beliefs but with some guidance from a skilled life coach or therapist, you’ll discover them. Often they contradict your limiting beliefs:

  • I am unlovable vs. I am a kind person

  • I am not good enough vs. I can achieve anything I put my mind to

  • I am disabled vs. I am courageous


Identifying your empowering beliefs and turning them into daily affirmations empowers you to step into your Truth and stop living in the past. Finding evidence to support your positive beliefs allows you to turn them into something solid and supportive of your personal growth.


Boosting your empowering beliefs enables you to release the conditioning imposed on you as a child and to start connecting with your true SELF. Listening to guided “I AM” affirmation meditations is a powerful strategy for letting go of your past history and emerging into your real being.


4. Believe in the Impossible

I grew up believing I would always be deaf, accepting that there is no cure for Usher Syndrome. When I first heard about cochlear implants, I carried on believing that hearing wasn’t an option for me. I chose to believe in the impossible and yet, when my friend made it seem so possible, I began to explore the possibility of hearing.


Believing in possibilities allows you to close doors to things that no longer serve you. It enables you to discover opportunities that support your personal growth and development, letting you live the life you always dreamed of but never thought possible.

In recent weeks, there have been incredible stories of successful gene therapy trials used on babies or children born deaf. These babies and children are showing signs of hearing within weeks of having this treatment.


 While this seemed impossible only a year ago, my Usher Syndrome journey is showing me otherwise. I truly believe I will see again too one day soon, and while I may be a “bionic” woman afterward, I can live with that possibility!


5. Be Courageous

It takes courage to stop living in the past but I believe each one of us is courageous. Start with baby steps and identify one new thing every day that you can change to boost your confidence. This can include:

  • Replacing a bad habit with a good one

  • Saying “I love you” in the mirror every morning and evening

  • Giving yourself a hug

  • Placing your hand on your heart and saying, “I am safe”

  • Learning something new every day


Being courageous doesn’t mean making big changes now but rather, slowing down and accepting the process of letting go of what no longer serves you. Listening to motivational podcasts every day increases my self-awareness and allows me to see things from a different perspective.

Doing so gives me the strength to pursue my quest for a better version of myself.


Stepping out in public with my white cane, a few years ago, gave me the courage to turn my back on believing that my disabilities were self-limiting. It took great courage to become friends with my white cane but it’s allowed me to move forward closer to my true SELF.


6. Live in the Moment

If there’s one tip that has been instrumental in moving me from the past, it’s the one about living in the moment. I could never understand how this worked until I found myself going through a stressful time. I realized that if I focused on what I was doing in the NOW, I stopped myself from dwelling in the past and stressing about the future.


Living in the present is all you’ve got but it means accepting that the past is gone and the future hasn’t happened. If you’re brooding, calculating, blaming, justifying, worrying, or overthinking, you’re mired in the past or the future. You’re letting fear take control of your thought processes and you know where that takes you!


Focusing on the present moment means paying attention to what is happening now. It allows you to tap into what you’re feeling while preventing your mind from going into overdrive. Be present in the moment and watch your thoughts of the past and the future drop.  When this happens, you can tap into your true potential.


7. Keep a Dream Journal

Your dreams tell you what’s going on in your subconscious or unconscious mind. Since deciding to have a cochlear implant, my dreams have been crazy until I realized that they were releasing stagnant stories that no longer serve me. This has been an empowering realization and I’m accepting that they’re part of my releasing process.


Starting a dream journal is a useful tool for doing dreamwork and analyzing their messages, especially during times of inner work. While I often struggled to understand what my dreams were telling me, I would ask myself, “What were you feeling during that dream?” By doing this, I could determine whether I was in a place of fear or love.


Dreams are symbolic and there are numerous resources you can turn to when exploring what they mean. I prefer to use my intuition to guide me and doing so has allowed me to embrace the letting go of old identities and stories I’ve carried for many years.


8. Practice Forgiveness

We often associate forgiveness as an act of letting someone “off the hook” for the perceived harm they’ve done to us. However, it’s more than this. Forgiveness releases you from painful situations that have taken place in the past.

It requires accepting where you are because of an action you took or didn’t take. By forgiving yourself, you’re telling your wounded Inner Child that he or she is loved.


You forgive for YOU, not for anyone else. Practicing forgiveness gives you back your personal power, diffusing the perceived impact someone or something has on you. I love the Ho’oponopono practice of forgiveness which is a traditional Hawaiian community-problem solving technique. It focuses on healing oneself so another heals.


Whenever I think of and feel a painful past event, I immediately recite the following words:

I love you

I am sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you


By taking responsibility for my healing, I’m forgiving myself and releasing the bad memories. Being mindful of my thoughts is essential and when I catch myself dwelling on negative situations, I put a halt to the thinking process by saying these powerful Ho’oponopono words.


9. Identify Core Values

When I identified my core values, I saw words and feelings that reflected my Truth and not my conditioning. In the beginning, I was seeking out values that I aspired to and needed to achieve my life purpose.

My values system has become my guidance tool, similar to a compass, ensuring that I stay on the right path for me.


Knowing my values has allowed me to walk away from people who have no respect for who I am. It’s enabled me to find direction and focus, ensuring that everything I do going forward aligns with who I am. My values system helped me to release sad, painful, and hindering situations that held me back for way too long.


Identifying your core values could be the ‘aha” moment you need to let go of your past, release old stories, and transform into the person you’re meant to be.


Final Thoughts

One of my recent “aha” moments was this quote by Bill Plotkin – “Remember that self-doubt is as self-centered as self-inflation. Your obligation is to reach as deeply as you can and offer your unique and authentic gifts as bravely and as beautifully as you’re able.”


To reach this obligation, I needed to let go of my old identities and stories that often lead to self-doubt, self-centeredness, or self-inflation. If I want to live a fulfilled and meaningful life, I need to let go of my past. It’s not an easy journey but each of the tips shared in this article has brought me closer to where I want to be.


Choosing to hear symbolizes my desire to release what no longer serves me and free me. In doing so, I may BE and DO and HAVE what I know is my Divine right and purpose.

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