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Do I pursue my new love or the overseas trip I had planned?

overseas trip
Flying off to follow a dream is important for building a healthy relationship with yourself

I have always wanted to go overseas and have been planning a trip for two years. Recently I met a wonderful man who isn’t interested in coming with me. He says I should go if I want to. I am truly torn. How do I make the right decision?

You are torn between two competing dreams. One is the dream of a long-anticipated overseas trip. The other is the dream of the perfect relationship.

There is no reason for these two dreams to compete with each other. Your new man is happy for you to travel without him. When you return, he’ll be waiting for you. But there is a voice in your head telling you something isn’t right. You can have your man, or your overseas trip. But you don’t believe you can have both.

In this case, the right decision is the one which feels best for you. To make it, you need to work through your feelings.

Allow yourself some time to relax, knowing you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phone. Imagine that you are boarding the plane to begin your holiday. How do you feel? Are you excited about the trip, or worried about losing your man? Which feeling is stronger? Take note of the sensations occurring in your body. Now, imagine the entire trip. Imagine the cities and sights you’d planned to see. Imagine the food, the colours, and the people you’ll meet. Again, note how you are feeling. Where would your heart rather be?

Once you’ve rehearsed your travels in your mind, do the same with this new relationship. Imagine giving up your holiday to be with this man. How do you feel when you see images on TV of places you would have visited? Imagine your relationship deepening as the years pass. When friends tell you about their adventures in Europe or Asia, how do you feel? Do you feel any jealousy or sense of loss? Again, note how these emotions feel in your body.

Your body doesn’t lie. When you are drawn to something, you feel excited and animated. When you’re less certain, feelings of discomfort or even fear may arise. Your body is trying to steer you towards the best decision.

As you work through these scenarios, random thoughts are likely to pass through your mind. “Couples should do things together,” for example, or “I don’t deserve to have both.” Listen for the voice that tells you how to behave. It’s trying to shape the decisions you make.

Once you have completed this process, balance all the information you’ve received. Decide if you want to make decisions based on fear, such as the fear of losing this fledgling relationship. If fear emerges strongly, you need to deal with the fear. Otherwise, it will control your life.

Remember that separation is a good test of a relationship. If you surrender to your fears now, how will you fare when problems arise in the future? You deal with fear by acknowledging the fearful voice inside your head. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions connected with losing this man. Then release them. Let them go. You don’t need that fear anymore. Once you release your fears, they lose their hold over you.

Joseph Campbell, the late mythologist, advised his readers to follow their bliss. That’s good advice. Any time you’re faced with a choice, choose what feels fearlessly most blissful.

Struggling with your mental health? North Brisbane Psychologists can help. Book an appointment today!

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