The plan was to leave you.
And I did, because I was in pursuit of myself.
I stayed with you because I never had the courage to leave. I consistently thought a part of me could never survive without your presence. But looking back now, I realize it was the wrong part of me that craved to stay—the “me” who was manipulated into thinking our relationship could change for the better.
The logical, strong being that I was—who knew I had to leave—was lost somewhere among my overcompensating and my weakness. Every time I tried to find it, you lulled me into thinking that it was never lost. You led me to believe that it was merged with yours. And so, I spent endless nights contemplating this delusional made-up story.
Finding that part of me again was undeniably the most arduous thing I ever went through. It was like searching for a gem in a ball of mud—you have to get filthy to reach it.
I did get filthy.
But I found it. I found that gemstone called me.
And it wouldn’t have been possible without leaving you.
The relationship I opted to start with myself has begun. You taught me the hard way that I should never end that relationship, come what may. You taught me that whoever automatically ends it for me is not for me.
Powerless people take our power away by weakening our sense of self. Ultimately, true power is in ourselves. And if it’s diminished, we’re no different than lifeless things.
I was lifeless. Staying took the life out of my heart; leaving brought me back. The rhythm you blocked is back to normal.
I am back to normal. I am no longer wearing the labels you once gave me. I am not listening to the name-calling.
I’m listening to myself and the intuition that long whispered to me to leave you.
Now that I’ve left, I’m enjoying me. I’m enjoying the peace of mind that you stealthily eliminated with your actions.
I’m enjoying the voyage of self-discovery and appreciation.
I’m nourishing my soul the way I wished you would have. I’m uncovering the shortcomings and the strengths. I’m taking out the good and the bad and loving them all unconditionally. I’m accepting myself, my lifestyle and my opinions.
I’m having intellectual conversations with myself—ones that abundantly exceed ours.
I’m treasuring the Goddess that I am and swimming in the depth of my own being.
I’m exploring my talents, potentials, and capabilities. Independence has become my second name and freedom named itself mine. I’m making up for the days I thought I was unworthy and weak.
How absurd it was of me to think that strength is acquired. I wasn’t conscious that it’s innate. If I would have known, I would have used it and abused it.
Thankfully, I used it at the right time—when I was on the quest of finding myself again. Without it, I would have beheld that mud and turned back, believing myself to be “in” you.
Thank God I realized it wasn’t. Although the journey made me weary, it was by all means needed. We never know the value of losing something until it exists no more. This is how I knew the value of myself.
I realize that it is my duty to protect it. Loving myself is my shield against sorrow and pain. It is my shield against the wrong people, too. In fact, a person with a weak self-love only attracts like people. You never truly loved me, you loved the you who you saw in me.
Now that I found myself again, my task is to love it as deeply as possible and as authentically as possible. Because I chose you, I learned how to start choosing me.
You, by far, are the greatest teacher ever sent into my life. Besides teaching me that I must never lose the foundation of myself, you’ve also taught me genuine spirituality. The rough journey with you showed me that clouds always part no matter how threatening the storm is.
You’ve taught me that I am whole and I should never show people otherwise. Whoever sees me as a half will crave completing me his own way.
The greatest lesson of all was teaching me authentic forgiveness. Myself that was buried in the mud was expected to loathe you. I feared its possible rage and permanent resentment. To my surprise, I forgive you. I understand now this was how much you knew.
It is because of you that I lost myself and thanks to you that I found it again.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Jakob Owens/Unsplash
Editor: Caitlin Oriel