I’m Leaving You to Love Myself.

Via Elyane Youssef
on Mar 21, 2016
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“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Usually people promise to stay, don’t they?

But I’m not promising. If there is one thing that I promise to do—it is to leave you.

It wasn’t my plan to leave though. My plan was to stay by your side for as long as it takes. My plan was to grow old with you and take my last breath with you.

But then I looked at myself and my life and quite frankly, I didn’t like what I saw.

I glanced in the mirror and I saw a feeble and wan woman. I saw a lunatic who couldn’t find the right words to delineate what she’s feeling.

I know I have left so many times before, but I always found my way back to you. I came back to you so I could love you.

The sad thing is that I loved you to the extent of forgetting about myself.

The beautiful thing about our relationship is that I became intimately familiar with how far a human being will go for another human being. It’s almost unbelievable how much we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of love.

But sometimes we focus so much on the person in front of us that we forget the person we are.

And me, I forgot who I am.

I know you think I’m leaving you because I was hurt by you and no longer want you. While this stands true, it is not the main reason why I am turning my back to you.

There will come a day when I will forgive you and forget about all the pain you have caused me. But if I stay with you today, I will never be able to forgive myself tomorrow. And baby, forgiving myself is way more important, than forgiving  you.

And so, I’m leaving you.

I’m leaving you to start a long-term relationship with myself. I’m leaving you to pamper and love me.

I crave to know the me that is not a slave to your love. I am keen to know what she is capable of and how far she can go. I’m exhilarated to discover her likes, dislikes, strength and weaknesses.

I want to look in the mirror and see a strong and independent woman who doesn’t fear adventure and uncertainty.

I want to walk the streets of the world with the wind blowing in my hair while thinking to myself, “I love myself and I love my life”.

But if I stayed with you I’d only walk with my head facing the floor. I will hate myself for giving you more chances that I know you don’t deserve.

It’s time to give myself a chance.

I want to give myself the chance to explore the “me” I have forgotten. I want to do the things I did with you and ascertain to myself that I don’t need you with me to help me.

I will open the jars that I gave you to open. I will lift the boxes that I asked you to lift. I will do all the difficult things that I asked you to do for me.

I will write as if you’re not reading and I’ll read as if you’re not watching.

I will undress myself and embrace the Goddess I am.

I will look at the mirror and compliment the curves that you have only touched for your own pleasure.

And most beautifully, I will pamper myself even better than you have ever pampered me.

I want to see the whole sum that I am without you. I don’t need you to complete me or to make me whole. I am whole and complete without you.

No one ever died from a broken heart. My heart is broken, yes. But I will live.

I can breathe and I can enjoy my morning and evenings without the need of your sweet and manipulative words. I will sing lullabies to myself and speak all the magical words that I longed to hear from you.

I will do everything to prove to myself that I won’t need you. I will leave you and never look back because ahead of me stands someone who is way more lovable, interesting, and important than you: me.

With both of your hands reached towards me, I have always chosen to grab yours. Lay your hand down baby, because this time I’m not holding it. Your hand has always driven me down the painful roads. It took me years to realize which hand I should grab but it’s never too late.

I’m not sorry for leaving you. I’m only sorry for staying.

I love you but I love myself more and I’m off to finding it now.


Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Image: Luke Pamer/Unsplash


About Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, and...pizza. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you're wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


11 Responses to “I’m Leaving You to Love Myself.”

  1. Mrs. Lynn says:

    This was painful and beautiful. Heart wrenching and Heart healing. Written by Experience.

  2. Marcy says:

    I feel like we have been in the same relationships. I could have written thay except mine reads : I leave you to learn to love myself. I dig into the crumbling pile left at the end of us, knowing I must be underneath it all. I once was, and I will be again, free and independent but also able to love and not lose myself. I haven't known both, not at the aame time. Now I know and I know thanks to us. What a treasure I am and I will be.

    Thanks to you I know how hard and strong and loyal I can be. I leave you and I look back. Everyday I look back. Ten times a day I look back. I can go back, if I insist, but I ask, what's good for me, and the answer is clear even if I don't want to see it. So I am here, and you are not, and I forgive you for what you dont know you do, and I love you, just as hard, which is good because I am loving myself at least es much and being at least as loyal to myself, and that's a start. At last, I understand you can't love me if you don't love yourself and when I try to love you into it, is when I lose myself. So I leave, to keep me safe.

  3. Mirette says:

    I wish I could leave you and love myself. I’m so weak to do so. The thing is that i don’t see anything in life without you.

  4. Pam says:

    Very beautiful and exactly what I feel and I am going through. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Evie says:

    Very powerful and moving. This should be read by and read to women who need to get out. For those that are on the fence or looking out over the horizon –keep moving and keep walking !

  6. sam says:

    Your wisdom resonates. I’ve been that person for 24 years…

  7. Heather says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jerry says:

    Maybe take some responsibility? I mean, we all want to be happy. Just sometimes we're a bit crappy.
    I hope you find peace.

  9. Shelby says:

    This takes a lot of courage and I commend you for it. I am going through a similar situation but not quite as simple of a decision and I am on the receiving end. My boyfriend of 6 years just broke up with me almost a week ago. We have lived together for 3 of those years. In this case, he still loves me romantically and is physically attracted to me but he says he needs to be alone in the world and know what that’s like and only have to worry about taking care of himself. I actually understand but hurts because we still love each other and I feel kind of abandoned as I’m alone in our apartment and he’s moved on. We’re still going to spend time together and who’s to say we won’t come back together when he’s ready but he can’t promise that. Does anyone have any advice? I still am in love with this man, and I want him to grow and be happy. But should I be reaching out to him or should I leave him alone? I want him to know how I feel and not think that’s it’s changed for me but I don’t want to burden him either. How do I find this balance after being in a loving relationship for 6 years? Thanks for any suggestions

  10. Dave says:

    I get it. I had to get this because my wife of 19 years said these word almost verbatim when we had agreed to a 12 month separation. Finding oneself is a beautiful thing especially if is done in a responsible, respectable way. (honestly is there any other way? ) This piece is a two edged sword. To truly find oneself would bring freedom to both partners as well as the children from that partnership. The other edge is the is the fact that some may read this without the element of honesty not towards their partner but to themselves. If a person finds “themselves” in the arms of another person, one would have to question who it was they were finding. My wife started dating a few weeks into the separation. She set out when she left to be the captain of her own ship, (her words) but in reality was only abandoning her ship. Proof of this is evident in the damaged relationship with her daughter. I have found that someone in this relationship is finding freedom, in fact this piece has all the elements of my experience these last seven months, I could have written this. Although I was forced to accept my freedom, I wouldn’t want it any other way, except less hurt in my children. You have a gift with words.

  11. Guest says:

    There is a deeper message here. And it's this: we are culturally conditioned to find a partner almost from elementary school. And that it's not normal to be alone, stand alone, thrive alone. In that search for a partner, we set aside self. We set aside an identity that needs to come to fruition before finding someone to share life with — if you find someone at all. In this search for a partner, we eventually find someone and life goes on. We grow, we change, we become. And we find that the person we've committed ourselves to isn't a good 'fit'. And then the pain of separating begins.

    That pain is temporary, though. And short lived if one truly, truly makes a decision to learn and love self first. Above all others, love self first. It's not being selfish. It's finding who you are and embracing all your strengths and weaknesses. It's knowing that you have this or that to give to others. And it's understanding that self love and care is the most important part of life. You can not give what you do not have.

    Lastly, it's OK to travel through life not committed to a lover or partner. It's OK to be an independent, single, solo traveler. For whatever amount of time you need .. forever, if that's the case.