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
The most beautiful Cheryl Strayed quotes you will be delighted to read
What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?
Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If someone is being unkind or petty or jealous or distant or weird, you don't have to take it in. You don't have to turn it into a big psychodrama about your worth. That behavior so often is not even about you. Don't own other people's crap.
That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding.
Be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of.
Your life will be a hundred times better for it.
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.
Love is our essential nutrient. Without it, life has little meaning. It's the best thing we have to give and the most valuable thing we receive. It's worthy of all the hullabaloo.
Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It's up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.
I walked all those miles, I learned all those lessons.
It's as if my new life was the gift I got at the end of a long struggle.
When going on a date with someone they met online, the number-one fear that straight women have is going on a date with a serial killer. The number-one fear straight men have is going on a date with a fat woman. That says everything.
Blood is thicker than water, my mother had always said when I was growing up, a sentiment I’d often disputed. But it turned out that it didn’t matter whether she was right or wrong. They both flowed out of my cupped palms.
The people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity.
Each night the black sky and the bright stars were my stunning companions;
occasionally Id see their beauty and solemnity so plainly that I'd realize in a piercing way that my mother was right. That someday I WOULD be grateful and that in fact I was grateful now, that I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
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.
The most important thing for aspiring writers is for them to give themselves permission to be brave on the page, to write in the presence of fear, to go to those places that you think you can’t write - really that’s exactly what you need to write.
So much of what I've learned, so much of what's good in my life, was learned because something bad happened, or from making the wrong decision. Through bad decisions I learned how to find the ways to make the right ones.
Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward.
I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something.
No' is golden. 'No' is the kind of power the good witch wields. It's the way whole, healthy, emotionally evolved people manage to have relationships with jackasses while limiting the amount of jackass in their lives.
It was my life — like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred.
So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.
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.
Believe in the integrity and value of the jagged path.
We don't always do the right thing on our way to rightness.
My mom said there's a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there or not. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.
The only way I've been able to stay informed without letting fury rule my life is to channel my rage into something that ultimately feels like love to me. The place I do that the best is in my writing. That's where I feel like I can tap into the power of story and maybe bring something good into the world.
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.
Wounded?” was all I could manage. “Yes,” said Pat. “And you’re wounded in the same place. That’s what fathers do if they don’t heal their wounds. They wound their children in the same place.
You can't replicate walking 94 days through the wilderness by yourself with a really heavy pack until you do it.
You have to pay your own electric bill.
You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that's all.
Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included.
Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.
Looking back at my younger self, that I'm not so different than I am now.
I was always a seeker. I wanted very ambitiously to be a writer and what happened between now and then is that I continually threw myself in the way of those things that would help me become that, of doing and finding and learning from things that altered me along the way.
With fiction, it could be about anything.
It just has to be good writing, like Maria Semple's "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," which I read recently. I want to forget I have a book in my hand.
I love music and listen to music all the time, but I didn't realize how much my body needed music. I needed it more than sex.
But if I could go back in time, I wouldn't do a single thing differently.
What if all those things I did were the things that got me here?
Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.
Each evening, I ached for the shelter of my tent, for the smallest sense that something was shielding me from the entire rest of the world, keeping me safe not from danger, but from vastness itself. I loved the dim, clammy dark of my tent, the cozy familiarity of the way I arranged my few belongings all around me each night.
"The Dream of a Common Language" by Adrienne Rich.
I carried it the entire hike. On my first night, when I felt like I was in too deep, I read the first poem out loud to myself over and over.
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.
It's still true that literary works by women, gays, and writers of color are often framed as specific, rather than universal, small rather than big, personal or particular rather than socially significant.
There's no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another.
What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course.
People do support themselves as artists and writers, so there's no need to be all doom and gloom about it. You just have to push forward. You have to follow your vision and hope for the best. You have to write for love.
The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you're talking about because she experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated.
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.
I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
So release yourself from that. Don't be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word 'love' to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.
I hope when people ask what you're going to do with your English degree and/or creative writing degree you'll say: Continue my bookish examination of the contradictions and complexities of human motivation and desire; or maybe just: Carry it with me, as I do everything that matters. And then smile very serenely until they say, Oh.