I love the beach. Not sure why because I am not a fan of water. One of the best things is to walk along the beach, close to the water’s edge and see all the footprints that I leave behind. We talk a lot about our footprints. We just don’t realize it. As it relates to global warming, the thoughts aren’t so pleasant. Our world is dying, but we have to admit it to have real change. Another topic for another time. I want to hit a little closer to home. Something we can see and evaluate. What about our footprints in our own home and lives?

We are humans. Often over worked and under paid. Doing what it takes to survive. We live life out of this constant struggle. And everywhere we go we leave something behind. Our footprints. We probably often view them as insignificant, but I beg to differ. Every interaction, conversation, task, touch leaves a mark. A footprint left behind for someone else to absorb. A gift that has to be opened by the receiver whether they want it or not. Something is deposited, even if you can’t see the long term affect. Once it is released, it doesn’t just go away. After all, you gave the gift to be received specifically for the receiver.

What type of gift you leave is up to you. Are you leaving the ugly sweater gift no one ever plans to wear? Or, do you leave the kind of gifts everyone wants and needs? If we could understand that we impact ourselves and those around us everyday with our words and actions, would we respond differently? Would we care for ourselves a little better so what flows out is love, joy, and peace? What footprints were placed on you; gifts you had no choice but to receive?

Let’s go back to the beach. I like that place anyway. Imagine the footprints in the sand, close to the waters edge again. You effortlessly walk, look back, and see 20 or 30 footprints in the sand. Sit and stop and watch for awhile. It so peaceful here. The waves come and go threatening to change the print you left. Eventually, the waves over take the sand. What looked exactly like your foot is a weird shape in the sand as it shifts under the weight and direction of the water; some of it is carried out to sea. And then they are gone. You stand up and begin walking again, leaving behind more footprints.

The things that have happened to you are a part of your story, but they don’t have to define you. Remember that the water can wash away the initial imprint. We must grow and nurture ourselves so we can live out of a place of leaving healthy footprints; the kind you want to stick around. The kind that others want to receive. We can’t do this just because its what we say we want. We must actively pursue it. Something has to give. After all we leave footprints whether we want to or not.

Go to the beach often. Reflect on life and refresh yourself often. Really daily. I remember when I had my firstborn. We bought the little cast kit and got her footprint. It was so cute. We wanted to remember that tiny little foot. Let your footprints be the kind that everyone in your life wants to capture and cast as a memory.