Loving and being loved, it sounds so simple, but the truth is not always simple. Love is a complex web of action and emotion.
More often than not, real love has its sleeves rolled up, dirt and grime smeared on its arms, and sweat dripping down its forehead.-Seth Adam Smith
These Fill Your Cup prompts on Loving and Being Loved are about examining the loving relationships in your life and deepening your connection with those closest to you. Take just 5 to 10 minutes responding to one of the prompts and fill your emotional cup. This is a time for you to press the “pause button” to collect your thoughts. You can respond through writing, drawing, doodling – it’s about what fills your cup.
20 Journal Prompts on Loving and Being Loved, written with parents in mind.
The first five questions in this set have been really helpful when I’m feeling out of touch with my kids – they help me get centered on what each individual is most in need of at this moment.
Answer these questions for each of your children, and if you like, for your spouse as well:
- What makes this person feel loved?
- What can I do with them, or ask them to do that will allow their unique skills to shine?
- If all of my actions are saying one sentence to this person, what should that sentence be right now? (For instance, for one of my children I think he needs to hear/see “I am stable and safe for you.” and for another, “I want to know you.”)
- What do I want to be sure not to miss with this person?
- How does this person act when they need love, but don’t know how to tell me?
Journal Prompts on Love
- What makes you feel loved?
- Are the things that make people in your family feel loved the same things that make you feel loved, or different? How do you think this affects the way you communicate with each other?
- How do you express to the people you care about, the ways that they make you feel loved? Do you think they know when they are making you feel loved?
- LOVE vs. RESPECT – Respond to this quote: “Many awful things have been done in the name of love, but nothing awful can be done in the name of respect.” ~Magda Gerber, founder of Resources for Infant Educarers
- Can you run out of love?
- Is there someone you wish you could tell one more time, how much you love them? Write them a letter telling them. You may wish to burn it afterwards as a way to send out those thoughts.
- Is there someone in your life now, whom you need to contact and tell them what they mean to you? What’s stopping you?
- What part of yourself do you guard most closely? Are you able to share it with the people you love? Do you think they are able to drop their guard with you?
Anger and Love
- What happens when someone is angry with you? Do you still feel loved? How do you react?
- What do you do when you’re angry with someone you love? Do you feel good about your habits for handling anger with the people you love? why or why not?
- Do you ever come down on the people you love too hard because you’re afraid for them? Write about the intersection of love and fear.
Love and Partnership (If you are not in a relationship, and would like one, you might use these questions to describe what you would like in a marriage/partnership relationship.)
- Describe your partnership or marriage right now – take a good look at where you truly are at this moment. How do you feel when your partner walks in the room? How are you showing one another love? What needs for love are you missing?
- Can your immediate family fulfill your need to feel loved? Are there any needs you have for which it would be appropriate to look outside your marriage or immediate family?
- How would you behave, feel, think if you were “madly in love” with your partner? Would things be different? Can you choose to be madly in love?
Books on Loving and being Loved:
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If you’ve ever read The 5 Love Languages, you know we each have different ways that we feel loved, and different ways of expressing love. This month we’re journaling about this powerful emotion so we can be more aware of what we need in order to feel cared for, and also how we can better care for the people we love.
PS – I’ve found the Love Languages to be an extremely helpful framework for thinking about how I can interact best with my family. It reminds me that my ways of experiencing the world are certainly not the only ones that count. There is also a 5 Love Languages of Children book which is more child-specific, and lots of resources on Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages site.
For more on loving and being loved: