You Are Not Defined By The People Who Leave

Unsplash / Aral Tasher

You’re not defined by the father who wasn’t there for you
or the mother who abandoned you.
You’re not defined by the brother who never loved you
or the sister who couldn’t be your best friend.

You’re not defined by the first crush who lied to you
and used you to make someone else jealous.
You’re not defined by the boyfriend who left you
because he couldn’t handle being in a real relationship.

You’re not defined by the person who never gave you a chance
because he was hung up on another lover
or the person who only wanted to be friends
because he couldn’t see you as anything more than that.

You’re not defined by those who couldn’t love you
or those who failed to see what sets you apart.
You’re not defined by those who walked away from you
because they didn’t deserve to stay.

I know it’s hard to be in these situations.
I know you’ve forgotten how to be loved
and how to love without getting hurt.
You’ve forgotten what real love feels like.

I know you’re tired of one-sided love
and people who lead you on.
I know you’re haunted by the ghosts
of your past and painful heartbreaks.

But you can’t be whole
without knowing what it’s like to be broken.
You can’t expect someone to save you
until you learn how to save yourself.

You wouldn’t be strong if you couldn’t endure
all the chaos, all the pain, all the injustice
and you can’t be a person worth loving
if you can’t love yourself when no one loves you.

So you’re not defined by those who left.
You’re not defined by their lack of love.
You don’t need their validation.
You only need yours. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.


Writing makes me feel alive. Words heal me.

Keep up with Rania on Instagram

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