Journaling Relationships: Time to Pause and Reflect 3

IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING this Journaling Through Relationships series, you have been writing about relationships with members of your family of origin, your relationship with self, and friendships from childhood through adulthood.

Following our timeline of growth, as we continue this series we will use journaling prompts to explore romantic and sexual relationships, from dating and first loves through marriage. After that, we will dive back into family relationships from an adult perspective: our children, stepchildren, adopted children, and grandchildren. Finally, we will write about our professional and community relationships, caregiving, and relationship endings.

But before we move on, this is a good time to pause and reflect on what you’ve learned so far — and to use the insights you’ve gained through your journaling to transform how you approach your existing relationships.

Start by reviewing the journal entries you wrote in response to the relationship prompts. As you read, ask yourself these questions (and write down your answers):


Identifying Destructive Patterns in Relationships

  • What negative or destructive behavioral patterns appear in my journal entries about my relationships with my family of origin and friends?
  • Have I taken responsibility for these patterns or have I been blaming others for them?
  • What negative messages have I been telling myself that allowed me to stay in these destructive relationships or behaviors?
  • Why did these patterns begin? In what way did my behaviors in these relationships protect or serve me?
  • Does this pattern or way of relating still serve me?
  • What stories do I tell myself about people with whom I have (or have had) difficult relationships?
  • What do I need to learn in order to transform these destructive patterns into healthy ones?

[bctt tweet=”This is a good time to pause and reflect on what you’ve learned so far.” username=”writingthrulife”]


Improving Healthy Patterns

  • What positive or healthy behavioral patterns appear in my journal entries about my relationships with my family of origin and friends?
  • Have I set healthy boundaries in my relationships? If so, how do I do this? Can I improve the way I set boundaries?
  • Where did I learn positive relationship skills?
  • What do I need to learn or do to improve them?
  • What am I most grateful for in my current relationships with family of origin and friends?
  • What 5 small actions can I take that will deepen my current relationships with family and friends?

Taking time to reflect on what you’ve learned through your journal writing about relationship patterns with your family of origin and your friendships is the first step to improving those relationships. After all, even great relationships can be made better.

The next step is to set an intention to take action — to learn and incorporate additional positive behaviors in your interactions with your family of origin and friends that will enhance or transform those relationships.

What intention are you bringing to your relationships with family and friends?


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3 thoughts on “Journaling Relationships: Time to Pause and Reflect

  • sara etgen-baker

    Upon reflection I saw patterns of thinking and doing that are on one hand helpful yet on the other hand not so much so. Time to be honest! I need to be more mindful of my intention–intention is a powerful force.

    • Amber Lea Starfire Post author

      Thank you, Sara. I know, based on your previous comments, that you’ve forged strong relationships in your life. Openness to mindful intention in relationships is so important and helps us to avoid taking those relationships for granted. Kudos to you for taking the time for reflection and intention. 🙂

  • Kathy

    Through my journal writing I found that I could release my feelings of guilt and concern surrounding the rejection by my youngest sister. I now send her a card and leave a voice mail for her whenever I’m in her town. She won’t answer any letter or respond to my calls, but I feel the ball is in her court to forgive me for some perceived slight saying she doesn’t want to have me in her life. It hurt bad at first when she cut me off, but I’m aware it isn’t for my lack of trying to reconnect. My writing helped me verify that any action or words I said have been cancelled out by humbly asking forgiveness to her. If she doesn’t want to forgive me, I feel she is losing out on a relationship of worth. I continue to pray for her and her family (who she doesn’t want me to contact) and know in God’s timing, she can heal from her bitterness. Writing out my feelings of frustration and concern made me see the situation in black and white. It is very good therapy for the soul.