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Cheryl Strayed quotes (showing 1-30 of 277)

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“I'll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“It is not so incomprehensible as you pretend, sweet pea. Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor and “loaded with promises and commitments” that we may or may not want or keep.

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“You give a lot of great advice about what to do. Do you have any advice of what not to do?


Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. Don’t stay when you know you should go or go when you know you should stay. Don’t fight when you should hold steady or hold steady when you should fight. Don’t focus on the short-term fun instead of the long-term fall out. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore. Don’t seek joy at all costs. I know it’s hard to know what to do when you have a conflicting set of emotions and desires, but it’s not as hard as we pretend it is. Saying it’s hard is ultimately a justification to do whatever seems like the easiest thing to do—have the affair, stay at that horrible job, end a friendship over a slight, keep loving someone who treats you terribly. I don’t think there’s a single dumbass thing I’ve done in my adult life that I didn’t know was a dumbass thing to do while I was doing it. Even when I justified it to myself—as I did every damn time—the truest part of me knew I was doing the wrong thing. Always. As the years pass, I’m learning how to better trust my gut and not do the wrong thing, but every so often I get a harsh reminder that I’ve still got work to do.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Forgiveness doesn't sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren't a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.”
Cheryl Strayed
“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.

It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding and my dear one, you and I have been granted a mighty generous one.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
“Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“We are all entitled to our opinions and religious beliefs, but we are not entitled to make shit up and then use the shit we made up to oppress other people.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“There are so many things to be tortured about, sweet pea. So many torturous things in this life. Don't let the man who doesn't love you be one of them.”
Cheryl Strayed
“But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“In your twenties you're becoming who you're going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole.”
Cheryl Strayed

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