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. TC mark

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


Rania Naim

Writing. Living. Loving. Dreaming. Healing. Evolving.

This Book Will Help You Let Go

“They think you’re mine and I’m yours. They think there’s a love story going on behind closed doors. They think it’s only a matter of time before someone tells them the truth they’ve been waiting to hear.

We roll our eyes when they joke about us being an item; we laugh at how ridiculous they’re being. But deep inside, I’m crying. I’m crying because what you’re taking as a joke is what I wish could be real.”


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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

“It’s just wondrous how every time I go through some emotional trauma, your posts are so relatable and it gives me so much hope. I love the writing and the photos. It’s all a pleasure to read. I can’t thank you enough for it, really.” — DM from @ThoughtCatalog Instagram follower

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