This Is How You Love Yourself Even When He Can’t

Amy Humphries

Sometimes, while falling in love, you lose yourself along the way. Sometimes, that love and that pull can be so strong, that you forget who you truly are without this person. You forget your worth. You forget your talents and your beauty. And you forget how to be a person without another person by your side.

So when the relationship falls apart and crumbles before your eyes, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know what defines you, and what makes you, you. You have no idea about what other people see in you.

So you start to question everything. You question why he loved you in the first place. You question what he saw in you. You question your appearance and your personality and your heart. You question every tiny thing about you because you don’t have someone else cheering you on. You don’t have someone else reminding you that you are worthy and lovable. You don’t have another human by your side anymore.

You feel incredibly lost and vulnerable. You feel like a giant piece of you is missing. Like you aren’t whole anymore and like there’s no heartbeat in your chest. You feel like your life isn’t a life worth living without this person.

So you have to start small. You have to take baby steps to get out of this place of darkness and despair. It’s going to take time. It’s not going to happen in a day. Or a week. Or a month. But it will happen.

Get up in the morning and take a steaming hot shower. Cleanse away your dead skin cells until you are tomato red. Scrub at your hair and wash off all the ways he used to touch you. Wash away his fingers and his hands and his lips. Rinse. Lather. And repeat.

Spray on perfume that he never liked and dunk your body into lotion that smells like a freshly planted garden. Comb out your hair and gently towel dry it, softly running your fingers through each strand, over and over again.

Put on your favorite cotton robe and a tissue face mask that makes you look like a crazy serial killer. Close your eyes and try not to picture his face or his hands or his lips. Try not to imagine him touching you. Him being all over you. Just breathe. Just be.

Turn on your favorite music. If it’s sad, and the piano ballad is making you teary eyed, go ahead and cry. If it’s happy, go ahead and dance. Go ahead and do it for yourself. Watch your legs move and your feet leap and your body work. Notice how you are still here. You are here surviving. You are here dancing. You are here crying and breathing. Without him.

Turn off your nightlight and listen to the crickets sing and hum and cry out. Hug your pillow close to you and press it against your body, letting all your muscles let go of this tension and this pain and this hurt. Let it all go with your tears and your dancing and your scrubbing.

Scrub him off. Cry him off. Dance him off.

And learn to fall back in love with yourself. Love your feet and how they take you to places you never went with him. Love your eyes and how they can see things that you never showed him. Love your body and the places he never had the privilege to touch. And love your heart. Love the pieces that he took and the pieces that remain.

Breathe out. Rinse. Lather. And repeat.

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