A beautiful gratitude activity for couples...
This beautiful practice is one of several found in my latest book, Give Thanks: A Journal for Sharing Gratitude.
I have my friend Melanie to thank for this incredible idea for a gratitude practice couples can do together (that also makes a great anniversary gift.)
Melanie did this practice years ago at the very beginning stages of her relationship, and when she finished, gave it to her husband Tom as a one-year anniversary gift.
Ten years into their relationship later, Melanie told me Tom still considers it one of the best gifts he's ever received, and every year on their anniversary they read through their love jar notes together.
You can do this practice on your own and give it to your partner as a special gift, or you can use this practice together.
Instructions for this lovely gratitude practice are below.
The Love Jar Instructions
1. Get a jar Melanie used a jar you can write on that can be purchased at a craft store or an online specialty shop like this one. You could also just use a plain jar with a note describing what's in the jar.
2. Cut up little slips of paper in three different colors. Melanie used red, yellow, and green - but you can use whatever colors are your favorite or have on hand.
Designate a paper color to go with each statement:
Red paper: Things I love about you.
Green paper: Special memories we've shared.
Yellow paper: Hopes for our future together.
Write your notes, fold them in half, and put into the jar.
Melanie said many of her notes were really simple, just a sentence or two, for each.
3. Share it with your partner. There are many ways to share this practice with your partner:
You both could do this practice together for 30 days and write your three love notes each day, sharing them aloud with your partner as you complete them.
Or, you could do this practice yourself and give it to your partner as a gift like Melanie did.
Either way is powerful.
But do share this practice with your partner in whatever way feels best for the both of you, because it will help you gain the maximum benefits of this practice.
As the old Swedish proverb says:
"Happiness shared, is happiness doubled."
By sharing it with your partner, I promise you it will open up a brand new channel of conversation within your relationship, along with reminding you of all the reasons you fell in love with each other in the first place.
Rewrite your love story.
I remember reading years ago couples who told "positive" relationship stories about themselves stayed together longer and were significantly happier than couples who told negative stories.
This is a simple way to tell your story in a positive light.
My guess is that once you do this practice with your partner it will open them up to remembering their own special memories of you, memories you may have forgotten that will only add to your love story.
And by focusing on your hopes for the future you'll ensure your love story continues for many years to come.