The good, The Bad and The Ugly Sides of Me…
In my previous posts, I’ve been sharing a lot about my personal growth. Let’s just say that my blog is a platform where I give a bit of myself to help others on their own journey. From life events, to conversation with friends or strangers, I try to live a mindful life in which I give importance to daily details from which I get my inspiration.
So yes, this week again, I’ve had quite a few conversations with some friends and somehow managed to overthink them once again and make them meaningful for this post … lol. Just me!
It all started with a friend who told me she loved my posts and suggested I share some more about myself, “Hey Nick, why don’t you write something like the good, the bad and the ugly sides of me!” OK, my dear, do we really want to go there?
Relationships… Best Way to Learn About Yourself
It’s funny because that suggestion really got me thinking about what was truly meaningful about myself. It is so easy to fall into the typical, “I’m a perfectionist, I’m a hard worker … blah blah blah!” What about the real things? The details that really matter?
I think I know myself … but I also believed I knew myself 15 years ago while being a monk! Truth is, when you’re a monk, you don’t have to deal with much more than with yourself. You do have to deal with the brothers within the community, but we all have the same ideal, we all have a certain security, we all are somehow protected.
I’ve come to realize that my later years as a Catholic priest and those after leaving the priesthood, have been more meaningful in terms of relationships, self-growth, and self-knowledge. I’m not only talking of love relationships, but all sorts of relationships that build who we are and who we are becoming!
Relationships That Trigger the Real You!
I’ve seen it again and again with the people around me! It’s easy to lead a celibate life, to have friends that think alike and have the same hobbies, etc. But what about those moments when life starts to challenge you? Who are you really then?
I’ve seen it with my sister. She was always a party animal, very pretty, attractive, and always said she wanted no kids. When she first got pregnant, I honestly believed she’d fail as a mother. Please, don’t get me wrong, I did not judge her nor did I wish for her to fail.
However, once holding her baby in her arms, I started discovering the maternal side of my sister. A side of her I had never seen… I started seeing how loving and caring she is and how dedicated she can be!
So yes, certain situations do trigger some good elements … and other situations have a different impact and can trigger the bad and the ugly sides of us … the sides we would not want to see.
Relationships That Bring the Best … or the Worst of You!
As a Catholic Priest, I’ve had many relationships. I always had the upper hand. I was the helper, the listener, the guide, etc. I guess that is where I performed the best. Being there for others, helping others in various ways… My goal was to make everybody happy and make sure they felt loved and respected. I’d over do it at times. I had no boundaries, no limits, no healthy lifestyle…
Obviously, people did not see my true motivations. I really would have loved for my motivations to be pure and holy, but behind them was the fear of rejection, of criticism, of judgment, etc. They were intertwined with the good intentions, of course, but these fears have been my major downfall! As soon as I’d hear a possible criticism, it was enough for me to fall into despair. One criticism would be more meaningful than a thousand compliments.
To be honest, I thought that was the ugly side of me… I genuinely believed that I was over-sensitive and that I couldn’t handle criticism. Is it pride? Is it lack of self-love? Again, I believed I did not love myself; internalized homophobia, never feeling enough, etc.
Well, my past relationships, even love relationships, have shown me something more about myself. Something rooted way more deeply. An important element that could trigger me in so many ways…
Relationships… Being Nude Before Others
Yes, in the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize something pretty big! Behind all of the front end manifestations of my bad and ugly sides there is a deeply rooted wound, a wound I do not know how to fully describe. Let’s just say it has to do with security and let me try to explain.
As a child, life has been very challenging, to say the least! My parents divorced I was only two years old. From then, all I could remember is having to move from one house to the other. My mom’s friends hosted us one after the other and we constantly lived in boxes and bags.
All this moving from house to house came to an end when I turned 8 years old and it unfortunately also came with my father’s passing. We finally settled into our own apartment and I could start having my own bedroom. It may sound weird, but my dad’s passing was almost a relief at that point, he triggered so much insecurity in me.
I feel bad saying this out loud, but I never enjoyed time with my dad. Those moments spent together were all about making sure I knew how my mom would end up in jail and talking trash about her. I would come back home to a broken and exhausted mother who studied day time and worked night shifts. I was sort of always expecting the next time I’d see my mom collapse because of my dad’s continuous legal procedures against her, trying to get the child custody.
This also came with the continuous threats of needing to switch from one parent to the other, or of being the dummy in the middle of the fights. You start believing love is conditional and that as the song says, “The winner takes it all,” even you… You start feeling rejection from those you love because unconsciously their fight for survival is linked to your birth … you become the scapegoat.
When I look back, I did not know what it meant to be a child! When your foundations are shaken to the core (having a house), you seek refuge and security in your parents and when they cannot give you this security, because of the circumstances and their instability, you need to hold on to life as tight as you can.
Relationships… Healing or Hurting You?
That is why, as a teenager, I escaped into drugs. My mom was doing her best at trying to recuperate the situation. She was working hard to make sure we had what we needed, but I was struggling to hang on to life. Drugs were the only place I felt at home!
I totally lost everything and myself, all in me spoke of destructive behaviours. Thank God I ended up in a monastery… It became a place of healing and detox.
So years later, after leaving the priesthood, I now realize that I’ve grown to be a lovely person that will do anything for those he loves. I love with no boundaries, with no limits. Same thing when in love, I will do anything for my partner to be happy and will manifest love in so many ways. So I guess that is the good side of me.
This comes with a bad side. Others don’t ask me to do so much… I simply do it. I give up on myself … and when I do so, I unconsciously expect others to watch over me, to do the same. After a while, I start feeling angry about it and want things to change or reciprocated. If only I could set healthy boundaries from the beginning, things would probably be so much easier.
However, the ugly side of me kicks in when I don’t feel commitment and security, when I start to smell rejection from afar or I feel that a relationship (friendship or love) is not fully committed, I end up abandoning… Am I always right? Probably not… I need reassuring, I need to know that even if we need to eat breadcrumbs that all will be OK! I need someone to take the child in me in his arms and promise all will be good! I might be demanding… I am demanding!
Unfortunately, I guess it’s the survival instinct that kicks in… I’ve been through the pain of abandonment… I don’t want to live it again! But I now know that security can only come from within, can only come from myself. That the others cannot give me what I don’t have … they can only complement me.
What about you? Hope it resonates or at least, makes you think of your own good, bad and ugly sides. When you realize the triggers, you can better deal with it, you learn to communicate and end up making things easier.
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