Releasing Shame

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In 2007, I decided that I was “geographically undesirable”. Actually, I’d labeled myself as such since I was a child growing up in Fort Worth, Texas (where?), but that’s irrelevant. After living in Austin for 14 years, becoming a single mom and becoming ostracized from my social circle in a harrowing divorce, I had acquiesced to my father’s desires and bought a house in the suburbs so that I could make ends meet and rebuild my emotional state. After a few years in the ‘burbs, I decided that I must move back in from Georgetown, the pleasant suburb 30 miles north of town where I resided. In my mind, the problem with Georgetown was that there were no yoga studios and no grocery stores that fit my standards. That, and also, no men that I dubbed viable prospects. But truthfully, Georgetown wasn’t the problem. I took me a long time to realize that and by then, it was too late.

So in 2007, I bought a house in Austin. At the time, my parents visited me often. My mom had lost a fair amount of her mobility and she was confined to riding a scooter most of the time. They did not want me to buy one of the charming houses in one of the quaint neighborhoods of which Austin has so many and which I could afford and desired. They requested, since they visited so often and helped so much, that I buy a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, ideally with floors made of tile or something along those lines that my mom could traverse. I negotiated that I would be open to this idea if they chipped in on the house. Actually, that’s a fucking lie; I ranted and raved that my dad had to help me if he insisted that I buy something so large. And so he did. He contributed a sizable amount on the down payment of a new home. I bought a house that had recently been flipped via a well known modern architect in Austin, who had been featured in Dwell magazine. The house had brand new everything — foundation, wiring, plumbing, metal roof, customized door, orchid box, appliances and more. For awhile, I was thrilled with it. But then, it came time for my son to enroll in school. The nearby school was horrible. And then, I started to question my decision…

Enter 2008. In 2008, I made one commitment to myself. I committed that I would go to one teacher training so that I could start to entertain the idea of one day pursuing a career in yoga… My dream.

In the spring of 2008, my parents came to visit. And this time, my mom fell. My new home was not nearly as spacious as my Georgetown home had been. When my mom fell, my father and I struggled greatly to get her up. It was then that I realized that my dad was in over his head; my dad could no longer care for my mom by himself.

And so, in the middle of the night one night, as I stayed up into the wee hours working on the global Dell team and conversing with friends all over the world, I made a decision. I decided that I would change my life. I decided that I would walk away from my corporate career, which I found so dull and so lifeless and so frustrating, and that I would move home to Fort Worth, something I had always said I would NEVER do. In moving home, I convinced myself, I could help my father. I would be there for my mom in her time of need. And I could get some much needed help in caring for my son. It was getting difficult to do it all alone. I didn’t like to admit it, but it was. The idea of managing him in school all by myself was beginning to make me panic.

And so I did it.

Quit my job.

Enrolled in teacher training.

Moved to Fort Worth.
Enrolled Jagger in a private school in Fort Worth.

Leased my house.

Trained my “backfill” to do my job.

Began teaching yoga for a living.

Of course, then, the bottom dropped out of the real estate market. My house, which we had paid a mint for, due to it’s credentials, was rendered worth far less than what I/we had paid. So I held onto it and leased it for four years. Truth be told, I also did that out of fear. Part of me was afraid that I would go crazy living with my folks and want to move back to Austin in a heartbeat. But that didn’t happen.

In October of 2012, my fourth tenant’s lease expired. And so, I decided it was time to sell my house. I paid a handyman quite a bit of money to fix it up and then I put it on the market. This week, it closed. I sold my house. Of course, I made very aggressive price moves over the holidays to get a contract. Of course, many of the amenities that I paid extra for were now worth nothing. Of course, in the end, I lost a huge amount of money on the house and so did my father as he had helped me buy it to begin with. The interesting thing was that I felt so much shame and humiliation in this whole journey. It was not my intention for my dad to lose his shirt in these negotiations. I had hoped to repay him handsomely. Instead he made not one single dollar and even had to help me with the final taxes. I was mortified when we discovered that I would actually owe money at the closing due to taxes. I was awash with pain, fresh pain. I was horrified that I would not be able to reimburse my father. I felt overwhelming humiliation.

My father was not angry with me. He did not want me to feel that way. He was sweet throughout.

I was horrified to realize how I can still wield the blade of self flagellation. I was convinced I had long since relinquished any need to hurt myself. There was deep regret here. This was subterranean like no other. This needed cleansing.

The house is gone now. And I am ready to close that chapter. I learned many great lessons in buying that home and in selling it. I am tremendously glad to be free of it. I am ready to welcome in a chapter of prosperity and abundance now. I am releasing the shame associated with that experience. There were learnings and there were mistakes. There were also gifts. And now, I am free. No longer fearful of receiving a call from a property manager about damage to manage at a house I never use or see. No longer losing money every month in taxes and insurance. I am free.

Enter prosperity. Enter abundance. It’s time.