Recently my wife and I made a decision to stop paying the mortgage on the home we lived in for 14 years. It was extremely difficult for so many reasons.
Number 1 we had raised our 2 youngest children there for most of their lives.
Secondly, it was a symbol of triumph for Kristin and I because when we met 3 years prior to building it, we were both at turning points in our lives and, as we know, turning points can be found in some pretty dark, scary places. I had just completed a 2 year prison sentence for a “white collar” crime that I committed while feeding my addictions and she had just left an unhappy marriage and travelled across the country with her infant son. When we met, we brought nothing to the relationship except our passion for each other. That passion soon turned into love and, as we were about to find out, that love brought with it an unstoppable force. Within 2 years we built a very successful business that still provides income for us today and we went from flat broke and terrible credit to owning our own home in the country and a growing business that would provide us with everything we wanted.
The third reason, as it turned out, was the most difficult for me. I spent all those years building my credit score and took a lot of pride in paying my bills on time. It’s funny how this reason trumps the other ones. The first 2 that I mentioned were ones which were true to my heart. The 3rd one was something that I’d been taught to believe. That’s the powerful effect that comes from years of believing a story. I had been taught that a good man pays his bills no matter what. I can remember times when my children went without just so I could pay some faceless billion dollar corporation a bill and not ruin my credit. It didn’t matter that the most significant times in my life were when I had no credit. What mattered was a belief I had from years of stories told to me by others who didn’t have my best interests in mind.
So Kris and I went through our formula for awesome and began the Q and A process we now use when making any major decisions (or minor ones for that matter).
Q: What is the value being delivered from that house
A : The memories
Q: How does abandoning the house affect that value?
A: It doesn’t
Q: Is the large sum of money we spend on it every month serving us in any way?
Q: Is it serving others in need?
Q: Could that money be used to better serve our missions and purposes in life?
A: You Betcha
Q: Does rescinding on our agreement with a faceless bank who contributed to devaluing our home and, essentially, took thousands of dollars from us, create a moral conflict in us?
A: Absolutely not
Q: Is our credit score still necessary for us to live the life we designed for ourselves today?
Q: Where is my resistance to this decision coming from?
A: An outdated belief that no longer serves me
Conclusion: Lose the house, gain more freedom, serve more people….. NO BRAINER
Note: When pride pops up as a reason for any decision I make it brings with it, a red flag that triggers me to look deeper. Pride is usually something instilled in me by a belief I have. It’s important to know where that belief comes from and if it still serves me in my life today.
Love and Gratitude