Think about when you were small, what it would have been like to take your first steps. Although you cannot remember your first physical steps, you probably remember many steps since then, and all the milestones along the way. It is so easy to see their significance in the future, but in the moment we rarely appreciate the effort that brought us there.
Pedometers are not a new invention, but integrating them in to our phones is. My phone tracks how many steps I take, and devices like Fitbits can track even more than that. I have heard talk of people comparing how many steps they take, and the whole idea of measuring your steps has become quite popular. Of course it is important to be healthy and to stay active. But it is also important to see the value in our steps. Our actual steps. Stop and take a moment to treasure that you can take steps, both physical and situational. Think about what steps in the general sense look like for you.
Let’s loosely define a step as an intentional action. Maybe a step for you is going to work or getting out of bed. A step is anything that takes effort and strength to complete. Some steps seem obvious, going to school, getting married, having children. But for some struggling with grief, addiction or depression, steps look different. There may be immense effort in someone completing a daily routine, in someone reaching out for help or talking about a struggle. Only that person completing the task knows the effort and the strength in that step.
That is why being mindful of yourself, your body, and abilities and the realities of what you can and cannot do are important. Know what steps are important for you, and give yourself the validation that it is ok to be where you are. It is also important to have someone in your life, a counselor or close friend, that you share the steps with, and that encourages you to push the boundaries of your efforts and stay healthy. What unique steps can you do today, what effort can you make to move forward?