7 Days Of Love (Finale)

What It Means, How It Feels, What To Gain
by: Geolyn
● September 4, 2023

In my first article about this 7 Days of Love challenge, there were a few questions I wanted to be mindful of as I went about my merry way to explore this topic. Circling back to these now, my answers before this mini journey are much different than the answers I have now. As cliché as it may sound, I do reckon I learned a bit from the practice of exercising love intentionally on a daily basis. I definitely didn’t expect this, but wow, love this for me.

What does love mean to you? 

Before: Love means sacrifice. Love means tolerance. Love means patience. Love means endurance. Love is labor. Love is unconditional. Whoa. I dunno about you man, but these all seem kinda Debbie Downer to me. Because love is also fun, romantic, adventurous, whimsical, and happy happy, joy joy – but those are just not the first things that popped into my twisted little head. Maybe it’s because I had three kids by the time I was 30. When I look back at old pics and videos, I’m honestly flabbergasted that I was rippin’ around with two kids by the time I was 24. I mean, that’s my daughter’s age now and she would never. And by the time I was 30, my youngest came tardy to the party, but he absolutely completed us. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing and NO RAGRETS ever. But, real talk… I did sacrifice a lot to raise them to the very best of my ability. My career, my twenties, my thirties, my forties, my career LOL… maybe this is why my idea of love was automatically associated with notions of sacrifice, tolerance, patience, and endurance. With three kids and two marriages, the struggle bus was up and running for many years, folks. But, my husband and my seeds are my people. My home team. My most favorite people in the whole world. They are my biggest life accomplishments and honestly, they make me look hella good. Shout out to my RIDE OR DIES. Gang gang!

Now: Love is intentional. Love means being present. Love means showing up. Love is trust and communication. Love is all-encompassing. To be clear, love has always been all these things to me. But, I now realize that THIS is how I want to show up in this world and show up for love. I want my love to be very intentional and I want others to know it and feel it. Love means showing up and being present for my peeps in all the ways – big or small. Yes, I will be there front and center at your graduation – maybe even early enough to save seats. And yes, I will make my famous macaroni salad for your party as well. I spent many years being so self-involved in my own crap, I didn’t think showing up for anyone else mattered. It was all about me and I was hiding. Like, how can I possibly be carefree and have fun at your 21st birthday Drag Queen Brunch when I’m drowning in puddles of turmoil?? My intentions weren’t to be selfish and self-centered – I was just going through it, gurl. So now, I’m extremely conscious of that and make all the efforts to undo that stigma and change the narrative of me being a flake. And I believe with that, comes trust.

Love means being that trustworthy rock my people can lean into and depend on. Listening and holding space – without judgment, without projecting, without opinions. I may impart some words of wisdom and unsolicited advice, because that’s just what I do and can’t help myself sometimes. That’s that momma ish. And lastly, I think love means oozing and exuding an all-encompassing love that feels safe, secure, and feels like home. I want the light that God shines in me and through me every single day to reflect on the outside, because I feel it so deeply on the inside.

What makes you feel loved? 

Before: I definitely feel like expressions of gratitude, words of encouragement, and compliments validated me and made me feel loved. I mean, who doesn’t love to hear how great and talented and beautiful and loving they are?? Just saying LOL. Well, I’ve actually learned that there’s a ton of people who don’t share the same sentiment, so yeah. Just me, I guess!

Now: While gratitude, encouragement, and compliments are still lovely to hear, very much welcome, and still very much make me feel loved and wanted, I’ve achieved enough personal growth to not need those things to validate me. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat it up, soak it all in, and be absolutely grateful if it’s right here, smacking me in the face. But, I don’t need it because I’ve learned to do this for myself. Because I know I’m out here trying my best to show up, kick a**, and be my best self every day. Mmm kay, well most days because hormones, laziness, and perimenopause, ya know? I guess what I’m trying to say is, that it took many years to learn how to show up and love myself. To not let other people’s lack of gratitude or encouragement bring me down, and to not give their words or actions (or lack of) any power if they don’t serve me. I have a choice. To either rely on others to love me the way I need to be loved, or to love myself first. And know that loving myself first, will set the example for how others should love me. I’ve also realized that being heard and understood not only make me feel loved, but make me feel seen – which makes me feel like my most authentic self. I’ve learned this is super important to me. Thinking back to my childhood, I’ve always fought so hard to be heard and I’m sure it was annoying at times. Sorry, mom and dad – love you. But, my voice and whims of expression have always been my superpowers. I Am Woman, hear me ROAARRR. Don’t hate!

What do I expect to gain from this?

Before: Nothing. I honestly, wasn’t expecting anything from this challenge. I thought I’d just be documenting cute, noteworthy actions of love for all y’alls reading pleasure. I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t anticipate any particular outcome. Letting go of expectations is another very valuable lesson I’ve learned to practice in the past few years. If you don’t expect anything, you don’t get disappointed. Don’t expect it, but welcome and embrace it when and if it does come. Don’t let your ego resist and allow you to push it away. Okay, I’m preaching now and that is definitely not my intention. Gurl, bye.

Now: With all of these revelations and ‘Eureka!’ moment life lessons, I do feel like I’ve unintentionally set some expectations for myself. I hope I don’t let myself down LOL.

1) Love those I love better. I would love nothing more than to gain better quality relationships, friendships, a more intimate marriage, and deeper connections overall.

2) Listen more and talk less. Even if I have this intense, innate need to be heard, understood, and seen, my desire is to listen more, talk less, and just be about it.

3) Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, and even boss. I meeaaan, I feel like I’m pretty phenomenal already, but there’s always room for improvement. LOL!  JK JK, GOSH.

4) Find my passion and my purpose. Put my head down, work hard, play hard, pray harder, and (re)discover whatever it is that brings me joy and makes me happy. If it makes me some extra money too, I ain’t mad at it. I’m the only one who blocks myself from thriving in these streets and being my absolute greatest.

SO THERE. I know it was called the 7 Days of Love challenge, but it was more like the span of a month or two or five – and it’s too late to rename now, sooo…. In the words of my son MA$EO in his Crossroads 2019 keynote graduation speech…. “If I can leave you with anything, it is two words: LOVE MORE.”

K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)

ABOUT THE WRITER…

Geolyn

Reigning as the unconventional Queen of who knows what, Geolyn is a fearless leader who will 100% have your back… until her back goes out. Her talent for backwards spelling is totally useless, but if reverse spelling Olympics were a thing, she’d take home the gold. Then repurpose that gold into something practical like a crown, insane stacks of gold jewelry, and a Cuban link gold chain for her dog. Fueled by love and validation from her hot Latin lover husband, amazing children, Bretman Rock, Yung Pueblo, and her blue-nose brindle baddie, Zyra, she’s on a mission to empower and inspire as an author and life coach… some time, one day, in her next life…when she’s done getting her life together.

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