With 20 years scrapbooking, and much of it spent teaching and helping others do it, I've learned a lot about what people love and what they struggle with.
Love, relationships, and marriage are at the top of the list because break-ups, divorce and fall outs happen.
I was married young, had a family and then divorced. I didn't know I was getting divorced until one day he just up and left. That was it. No car, no money, and no fishing supplies. Yep, he even took the kid sized poles.
Traditionally journaling was a way to vent and to write what was not pleasant, not liked, not enjoyable OR what was amazing. What if it's actually all amazing? Maybe not in the moment. It wasn't fun having to tell my children their daddy was gone and I didn't have an explanation or excuse for it. It wasn't fun to face each day as a single parent and everything that came with it, but there was amazing blessings, joy and laughter in each day because of my wonderful children.
I taught scrapbooking through my online group for almost ten years. The members were from around the world and all ages and experiences. Valentines Day was always one that seemed to spark negative threads. There was talk of shredding photos, taking people out of albums and attempts to re-write their own history. I understood, I'd been there.
I'll never forget a conversation I had with one young mom. She hated her grandfather, doesn't matter why, but she had good reason. She asked me for the best way to cut him from the photos and still have the pics to put in her album. We discussed why she thought she needed to do that and it was her way of punishing him. She would just wipe him from her tree, that would teach him! Thing is, that's not possible.
I encouraged her to see how he was a part of her story, but she was in control of sharing his part in it. She came to realize that by putting so much effort in to punishing her long dead grandfather, she was really actually giving more power to the hurt and keeping it alive.
I asked what she wanted for her children. Did she want to share the poison from those few years forever with them, or did she want to build her own story and theirs? I suggested he was a part of them and that by building up her story, she built up her children as well. She began to focus on family and the positive things her grandparents taught and shared with her. She chose to include the photos with him in it, but at first just mentioned him as the guy in the picture.
Later, she started to add funny stories and warm memories. After a few months her thought patterns shifted and she focused on sharing the strong family bonds that existed and what an amazing history her children were inheriting of how her grandparents came to America, how they met and married and how they worked hard to create the family farm. She started referring to him as the ornery old fart, but admiring how tough he had to have been to get through the freezing Montana winters without running water or electricity! She chose to share his strengths and focus on what he did right and how she saw those same strengths and passions in her children.
She knew how her story would be written and she wrote it that way by focusing on what she loved, what she wanted shared, and how she could uplift her children. She chose love.
When my husband left us, it was an amazing blessing. We were happier, safer, more stable without him. None of the difficult times are found in my albums, but he is. I still made pages full of family memories and laughter. Oh, it didn't happen quickly, but it did happen. I recognized early on that I could fill the pages with the hurt and anger that I felt towards him OR I could fill them with the love, joy, and blessings. I chose to empower and uplift my family. I chose love.
As we head into celebrating love and relationships and all that comes with that, what do you love? By focusing on what you want and what you want more of in your life, you water the beautiful seeds of joy just waiting to sprout in your garden!
What you focus on gets your focus. If you are struggling with a difficult layout or need help rewording a situation, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond.
Here are a few fun titles to inspire you!
- What I love about mornings
- What I love about me
- What I love to do in my free time
- What I love to create
- What I love about my family
- What I love about (hobby/sport/group)
- What I love about my life
Note from Tammey:
Each week I will share a journal prompt under the heading Journaling 101 in the weekly e-mail! The prompt is meant to spark ideas and action, but what you create is whatever feels good to you! Splats of color on a page with a quote on it IS journaling! A poem is journaling! Writing out your desires, prayers, dreams, ideas, and feelings IS journaling! So is scrapbooking. Here's to living YOUR BestLife! Did you know there is an online, open workshop the second Thursday of each month? READ MORE!
Feel free to leave comments/suggestions/ideas or examples of your journaling in the section below!