This morning I was doodling, drawing spirals as I waited for some writing inspiration to come to me, when I had a great realization come to me: I have now had a longer relationship with CUAV than I had with the person who abused me during my darkest days of pain and hopelessness. CUAV (Community United Against Violence) is the San Francisco-based LGBTQ anti-violence organization that I'm a part of. I only recently joined the staff, but I've been a member since 2009. It's strange to me now, to look back and remember that when I first came to CUAV, I wasn't seeking healing for myself. Like so many survivors of violence, I was looking to help others, and over time, I inadvertently stumbled upon my own healing journey.
During the dark days, I was spiraling downward, with negativity building upon negativity, much like cycles of violence continue as oppression, fear, and hatred builds. And shifting my direction after spinning that way for so long felt disorienting at first. It was hard to feel like my feet were on the ground. It took, if you will, a leap, to decide to move in the opposite direction.
And the change didn't happen immediately. It wasn't as simple as leaping from one spiral to another to start moving in the right direction. In fact, my shift toward healing is still happening today, and it will continue for as long as I can see. But I've been practicing new ways of thinking, new ways of understanding the world and my place in it, and now my spiral is moving in the direction of positivity, as hope builds, destructive patterns break, and the shape of my new life unfolds with endless possibilities.
On this leap day, this Wellness Wednesday, I'm thankful for the courage to leap, the upward spiral I've landed on, and for the support I've found along the way. Sometimes, life's possibilities await somewhere beyond even your greatest imagination. I know from my journey that I have no idea of the change that might still be ahead of me. I may not know exactly where I'm going, but I'm finding hope in each day long the way.