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Keeping a Love Journal

Do you love someone very deeply? A spouse, son, daughter,or maybe a group of people. February 14 is Valentineâ??s Day.This unofficial holiday is a day card companies started toincrease their business and has evolved into more over theyears. It is a day of reflection, a day to show someoneelse you care, a day to see the love we have for ourselvesas well.

A separate journal devoted strictly to people, places andthings, that you love, may seem like a waste of space atfirst. Why not just toss it in our regular journal. Youmight be thinking, "How can I fill up a whole book?" Ishared this sentiment for years. After making the choice,one pre-Valentine day ten years ago in a bookstore, itbecame easy. A richer life began emerging because of itover time.

As all things, it begins by purchasing a journal for thatspecific purpose. This is the perfect time of the year tobuy that such journal. Book and gift stores provide a stackof choices this time of year. When I sat down and opened mynew love journal, the cover, with its typical red cover andhearts, changed my voice but the pages were still starkwhite. For days, I sat staring at those blank pages everyevening and occasionally a few mornings. This was a strangesensation since itâ??s harder for me to end than to begin.

My original thought, why I purchased this teenage-likejournal, was to honor my motherâ??s memories. She passed, atthe time ten years earlier, and our memories were waning.Many times it took pictures to see her face again. Hereare some ways that I learned over the years to fill my lovejournals. What once started with a cautionary purchaseturned into a regular yearly purchase. Of course, this timeof year because of the wide selection in the stores.

Let Me Count the Ways

Lists are a great way to begin when the sentences or thoughtseems vague. Lists suggest expansiveness and release thepressure of saying it just right. Focus on one person andmake a list of a particular moment. It doesn't matterwhether it is recent or somewhere in the past. Memorytriggering is a trained skill and takes practice.

Love Letters

"Love letters fulfill a need to confide, to testify and toarticulate what is ordinarily left unspoken," says CathyDavidson in, "The Book of Love: Writers and Their LoveLetters." Expressing your love, whether shared or not,fulfills an internal need, a desire of a deep connection.Whether the love is only one way, a fantasy, or just adream. Memorable writing, whether it is a list, letter,poem, story or essay, comes deeply from the soul of thewriter. It is their way of having their say.

Writing a love letter doesn't always need to be to or aboutsomeone else. When we are working on our self-esteem andself-worth, it is important to write love letters to us.This may seem selfish or uncomfortable at the start but theexperience blossoms into a deeper learning about who we are,what we want, what we need, and what we can give. For thoseof us who have difficulty knowing our own needs or puttingour health first, writing love letters can be a valuablebridge that expands into a deeper understanding andknowledge about us or about our path.

Possible Memorable Items to Include

Here are a few items that can help expand your lovewriting.. Of course, these items will transition with yourintention, style, and voice.

1. Start by acknowledging the event. The place, day andtime.

2. What was your emotional state at the time? Did you feelsad, say so. Angry, shocked, or confused, say so. Evenlove letters and journals have more than one emotion. Wereyou grieving at the time?

3. Describe any qualities -- physical, emotional,professional or social. Tell what you admired about them(or yourself). Is there something you miss? Are they orwere they a great teacher, storyteller, devoted father,mother, aunt, uncle?

4. Remember the little things. The small stuff does count.Was there a particular smell you remember? What were theywearing, or not.

5. Have you had this experience before. If so, when? Howare they different? How are they the same?

6. Did a book, quote, musical piece, photograph, or songlyrics provide comfort or expand the experience?

7. Who else was involved? Did they build with theexperience or take from it?

8. What makes this love different? Or the same? And ifthe same, the same to what?

9. Was this an everyday event that turned extraordinary?Why?

Whether a love letter is your intention or to begin with alist, don't forget to love yourself and to add yourself tothe menu of a love-writing experience. Most of the time welook for love in other places when it truly needs to berecognized from within first. Take the time, find the magicyou hold inside you, find the love that you hold forrelationships, for what you have accomplished, or desire toaccomplish, or what type of love affair you want to havewith the world while you are still in it.

Love is a gift, whether presented only in a journal orexpanded into something wrapped and bowed. The expense isonly that of pen and paper but its cost is time and thought.Place love on your calendar this week. It is as much a giftto you as it is for everyone else in your life, past orpresent.

© Copyright, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

Catherine Franz, 20 year international journalinginstructor, including several US Presidents and FirstLadies, and author of two booklets on hundreds of tips andtechniques. Visit the store at:

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