Keeping a Love Journal

Author: Catherine Franz

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

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

As all things, it begins by purchasing a journal for that
specific purpose. This is the perfect time of the year to
buy that such journal. Book and gift stores provide a stack
of choices this time of year. When I sat down and opened my
new love journal, the cover, with its typical red cover and
hearts, changed my voice but the pages were still stark
white. For days, I sat staring at those blank pages every
evening and occasionally a few mornings. This was a strange
sensation since it’s harder for me to end than to begin.

My original thought, why I purchased this teenage-like
journal, was to honor my mother’s memories. She passed, at
the time ten years earlier, and our memories were waning.
Many times it took pictures to see her face again. Here
are some ways that I learned over the years to fill my love
journals. What once started with a cautionary purchase
turned into a regular yearly purchase. Of course, this time
of 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 thought
seems vague. Lists suggest expansiveness and release the
pressure of saying it just right. Focus on one person and
make a list of a particular moment. It doesn't matter
whether it is recent or somewhere in the past. Memory
triggering is a trained skill and takes practice.

Love Letters

"Love letters fulfill a need to confide, to testify and to
articulate what is ordinarily left unspoken," says Cathy
Davidson in, "The Book of Love: Writers and Their Love
Letters." 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 a
dream. Memorable writing, whether it is a list, letter,
poem, story or essay, comes deeply from the soul of the
writer. It is their way of having their say.

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

Possible Memorable Items to Include

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

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

2. What was your emotional state at the time? Did you feel
sad, say so. Angry, shocked, or confused, say so. Even
love letters and journals have more than one emotion. Were
you 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 or
were 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 they
wearing, or not.

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

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

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

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

9. Was this an everyday event that turned extraordinary?

Whether a love letter is your intention or to begin with a
list, don't forget to love yourself and to add yourself to
the menu of a love-writing experience. Most of the time we
look for love in other places when it truly needs to be
recognized from within first. Take the time, find the magic
you hold inside you, find the love that you hold for
relationships, for what you have accomplished, or desire to
accomplish, or what type of love affair you want to have
with the world while you are still in it.

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

© Copyright, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Catherine Franz, 20 year international journaling
instructor, including several US Presidents and First
Ladies, and author of two booklets on hundreds of tips and
techniques. Visit the store at:


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