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.

Natalie Jovanic

Natalie Jovanic is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Shiatsu Therapist. As a counsellor, they pass on what they believe in, but it isn’t just knowledge, theory, and professional experience. It is also their wisdom gained through their own transformative journey of healing abuse. Natalie is trained in trauma-informed practice and EMDR. They are the author of A Brave, True Story.