Meet Jelena Pantic, the woman who learned how to live
Jelena Pantic has made herself a new person, full of self-confidence and happiness, a person who adores life and who realizes how her life is full of joy. She writes a blog called Emotional Intelligence where you can find many things about her love for living.
Jelena found out that she had cancer by accident. She hadn’t had any problems before that, she was rarely sick, and when she was it was always just a cold.
Because of a pain in her stomach she went to a hospital emergency room, where they discovered she had a tumor. Doctors operated on her the next day, and after two weeks, test results showed it was malignant.
Before that I had, on the one hand, a life without serious problems and, on the other hand, a life filled with pressure responding to how and what I should do, how I was supposed to be… My life was nice, but if you watch it from the inside it was a life filled with fear of how to be what I wanted to be, how to live, think and feel freedom – explains Jelena.
In one year Mrs. Pantic had two operations and two rounds of chemotherapy. She admits that the hardest thing was sympathy from people who found out about her disease.
During the treatment she was focused on life and health, she was not thinking so much about her disease. She got strength from people who survived the same and now are pretty and healthy.
Also, she was reading too much and realized that everything was in her hands. Doctors and medical treatments help, but the patient has to decide to live and be healthy.
Everything is in our hands
I started to work on myself, to learn and experience love when dissatisfaction with my life dominated my thoughts. Every day I took care of myself – and spending a little time with myself brought about big changes with time – admits Jelena.
She thinks that the will to live is in our nature, but between troubles and pressures many people stop feeling it, and that manifests itself like a sickness.
As much I worked on myself and my personal development, my will to live was bigger, despite the circumstances. When I was so close to death, a real love for life arose in me. I realized how great life is and how absurd it is when you torture yourself about irrelevant things – says Jelena.
She is not the only one who has had this experience and has realized how it is to be back in life. Now that experience is a reminder of what is important and what is not, a reminder to treat herself well and to take care of herself.
She got a lot of support, and that meant a lot to her. Her family and friends needed some time to come around, but soon they got used to her situation.
Some people disappeared quickly from my life – it hurt me, but I understand them. Disease is not as terrible as a life in fear, and I think that fear of sickness and death are everywhere and they harm us – said Jelena.
We can change our way of living
Jelena wrote in her blog about the fact that the way of our growing up and the beliefs that other people taught us can be changed. She realized that a modest man can become ambitious and successful if he has the will to change himself.
But she admits that we can’t change everything; character is in our nature, something that we are born with. We can only modify it.
All beliefs can change, not only if we want it so much but if we dedicate ourselves and become persistent. Sometimes we can’t do it alone, it is hard to perceive yourself objectively, so help from a psychotherapist is always good in these cases. Someone who is not successful enough can, alone or with help, realize the causes of his failures; he can find out which beliefs block him, and he can work to change that and replace unproductive beliefs with new convictions that will support him more effectively – explains Jelena.
She explains that women are sometimes unsuccessful because, perhaps, they believe that it is not cool be successful and earn a lot of money. That can change into something like “I can be cool and successful.”
Most of the time that is not an isolated conviction, it is more typically derived from a whole system of belief, and because of that it is important to be patient, and changes will come with time.
One of the ways to affect our lives is to manage our perception of doing things. Jelena tries every day to do what she loves, but she admits that it’s impossible to do only what we love and nothing else.
Every day I do a lot of things I love, so doing something that I don’t love is not hard for me. The difference is when I do something I don’t want; I do it because I choose to do it for some reason because in the future it will be a source of good, not because I don’t have a choice. I don’t have to, but I choose to do something that I don’t love because it will mean something to me or to someone else. It is important from which part of us and from which attitude we do an activity, explained Jelena.
Enthusiasm for living after disease never ”fails” and she is sure it never will. She told us that she sometimes gets tired but she rests. Enthusiasm for some topics, activities and people can decline, that is true, but then she starts thinking it is only lassitude or time for a change.
The look of happiness and unhappiness
Truly, happiness and satisfaction for Jelena lie in the fact she is alive. She is trying to spend all of her time in the present because that is the only place where we are alive and have the possibility to create our lives anew.
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction is our state of mind. Unhappiness is good if we understand it as a sign that it is necessary to change something. It is not good if we let unhappiness overtake us. I don’t allow bad things to affect me. If there is something I can help or change I will do it. If I can’t, I don’t see the point of dealing with it because I am not helping anyone, especially not me.
Jelena has found inspiration in many books, especially the work of Fric Perls, the founder of gestalt psychotherapy, and K.G.Jung. From present day authors, there are Irvin Jalom with his writing about psychotherapy and important life topics; and Brene Braun, who deals with very important but neglected topics – vulnerability, shame and living with all heart.