The secret question you need to know to live without regrets…

What would you regret if you never had tried it?

That’s the magical question I found that allows me to live without regrets. Let me tell you this story about how I’ve found it:

About two years ago, I invited a man I liked very much to visit me in Spain. He just became single after a long relationship. I knew him since more than 13 years, and he was one of the few men I had always trusted. Since I am a survivor of sexual abuse, trusting a man wasn’t usual for me. I used to fear men, but with him it was different. He had always meant very much to me. And since he was single, there also was an opportunity that there could be something more between the two of us. I knew that I had to see him again, but I was afraid to fall in love with him and to be rejected by him. With all my doubts and fears, I set down with myself and asked myself, Would I regret it at the end of my life if I hadn’t given it a try? The answer was a clear yes. I would regret it if I didn’t see him again. So, I overcame my fears, and I invited him.

A couple of weeks later, he came to visit me. It was the most beautiful week I ever had with a man. Everything felt right between him and me. It felt fluent and easy. I had never felt so close to a man before. I fell deeply in love with him. But, a couple of weeks after he returned home, he disappeared from my life with an email. He wasn’t ready for a new relationship. It hit me hard. I had never expected that something like this would happen between the two of us, and it was very painful for me. This story became the last chapter of my memoir.

Some months later, I participated in a storytelling workshop and shared this story. Later, another woman said, Thank you for showing me what it means to love a man. I hadn’t seen that before, but she was right. I never had loved a man before as I loved him. I had never opened my heart as much as I had opened it for him. Deep in my defeat, I saw a victory. Isn’t the most important thing in life how much I have opened my heart and that I have truly loved, is it?

With all its pain, this story also meant a turning point in my life. I decided to allow me to be happy, no matter what. I looked at my forgotten dreams, and I asked myself the question again and again, Would I regret it on the day I die if I’d never given it a try?

My greatest dream was to migrate to Canada and grow old there. Many years, I was too scared to do it because there are no guarantees in the process of migration, and it requires to take one step after the other and to have trust and faith. But I also knew that I would regret it if I’d never given it a try.

One year later, I moved to Vancouver, and my story has a new beginning: I now live in a country I love most in the world. Each morning, I see the most beautiful nature I have ever seen in my life, and I have found great friends. I am very grateful for this. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know that my friend’s rejection was an important first step to making my dream come true and to continue living without regrets.

What would you regret if you never had tried it?

I love to read your comments below.

Copyright © 2015, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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What Ghosts Are Haunting You In Your Relationship?

Even though, our romantic relationships take place in the present moment, often they are influenced by the ghosts of our childhood. Do you sometimes hear your mother’s voice in your head telling you what you have to do? Does this really serve you well?

I once met a great man. He had lived through a very painful childhood with a parent who had problems with alcohol. As a child, he learned not to trust anybody. He was in a relationship for ten years now, and he said with deep conviction in his voice: I’ll never trust my girlfriend. Why should I? His voice expressed the pain and anger he felt as a child. He carried this ghost with him, each day. I could feel his pain. I also grew up with the belief that I couldn’t trust anybody. However, this belief made the world an insecure and lonely place. How can you experience true connection if you don’t trust? During a dark night of my soul, when this pain became nearly unbearable, I chose to open my heart and learned to trust others. Yes, it was a risk and, sometimes, I trusted people who didn’t deserve it. But the benefit was greater than the risk: I longed for love and belonging, and my decision empowered me to create nurturing and supportive relationships.

What are the ghosts you carry around with you?

I don’t know what your ghosts are. My ghosts were violence and manipulation. I tried different ways to deal with them – ignoring them, running away or getting angry. But they didn’t go away and haunted me in my romantic relationships. Finally, I found a solution: shining light on them and looking at them compassionately. This awareness gradually transformed them and empowered me to be ready for the love I wanted to experience.

You can’t choose your childhood and your family. If you have grown up in a family with insecure and painful relationships, this impacts the way you relate with other people. If you had great role-models in your childhood, your romantic relationships are likely to be smooth. If not, that’s something you should take care of. As human beings, we tend to be attracted by what we know, and we tend to repeat what we have learned from our family. If your past limits you and doesn’t bring you happiness, then it’s time to clear these patterns. No, you can’t change the past. It was as it was, with its delights, regrets and injustices.

But does your childhood have to haunt you for all your life? Do you have to repeat your parent’s destiny?

As an adult, you have choices. You can write your relationship story, and I know that you can create a magnificent one. If you don’t do anything or blame your parents for what was, the ghosts of your past are likely to haunt you for your lifetime. Another option is to open your heart, heal the wounds of your past and learn new behaviours that empower you to experience nurturing relationships. You may ask: Why should I? It wasn’t my fault. Yes, you are right. You have been innocent as a child. But you are an adult now, you are responsible for who you are. You can stick on blaming your parents or life in general or whomever you want to blame. Blame won’t change anything. The alternative is to sit down with yourself, compassionately take responsibility for this wounded child within you and become a great parent for her. This way, you can create the love you deserve. Nobody else can do this – neither your parents nor your partner. Only you can heal yourself and reclaim your wholeness. This process is like peeling an onion. With each layer you peel off, you get better connected with yourself and you will become happier. You will dare to show up as who you are in your relationship. And this is the basis for true love and belonging. Sitting down with myself wasn’t always comfortable, but it enabled me to experience love and belonging and to create nurturing and caring relationships. And that’s what you truly want to experience, isn’t it?

If you don’t change anything, you will get the same result as always. Start to walk on a different path today. Make a list and write down the following points:

  • What are the ghosts of your childhood that are still haunting you in your relationships?
  • What do you want to experience instead of them?
  • Are you willing to release your ghosts?
  • What is the first step you can take today to realize your dream?

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to become a modern heroine.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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In Wholeness, We Meet

Love is a mystery and has many faces. This love poetry aims for explaining how love can grow in a relationship.

In wholeness, we meet.
I am I, and you are you.
In wholeness, we meet.
Two balloons, flying together.

I see you, and you see me.
We are as we are, perfect with our imperfections.
In wholeness, we meet.
Two balloons, touching gently.

I carry mine, you carry yours.
I don’t save you, you don’t save me.
I don’t change you, you don’t change me.
In wholeness, we meet.
Two balloons, caressing gently.

I see your beauty, and you see mine.
I see your strength, and you see mine.
I love your defects, and you love mine.
In wholeness, we meet.
Two balloons, growing together.

With honesty we speak.
We dare to show up, just as we are.
Nothing to hide, nothing to fake.
I honor you, you honor me.
In wholeness, we meet.
Two balloons, shining brightly.

We choose to fly together.
Two balloons, touching slightly,
Two balloons, caressing gently,
Two balloons, growing greater,
Two balloons, shining brighter,
Through our gentle touch, we fly together.

In wholeness, we meet.
Love is the bond, and gratitude the motion.

 

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the poem Love & Freedom.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Love & Freedom

Love connects us,
Freedom allows us to choose to walk together.

Love wants us to spend our life together.
Freedom tells us that we won’t know before the end of our days.

Love sometimes urges us to give everything,
Freedom reminds us to stay on our path.

Love wants us to be loved,
Freedom softly guides us to love ourselves and have boundaries.

Love wants appreciation and approval,
Freedom advises us to let go of fear and show up as we are.

Love may urge us to promise that we’ll never leave each other,
Freedom gently reminds us to never take each other for granted and to continue our growth.

Love makes us wake up each morning together,
Freedom prompts us to look into our eyes and saying silently “yes” and “thank you” to each other with a smile.

Love, if ever it comes the day that we can’t continue walking together,
Freedom embraces us so that we are able to let go no matter how much we love.

Love never dies,
Freedom is everything.

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post What if you always attract the wrong man?

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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