Words of Wisdom from Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Words of Wisdom from Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Life can be raw and real and Cheryl Strayed embraces it all in her book, Tiny Beautiful Things. Based on her ‘best of’ advice shared in her popular column, Dear Sugar, the topics she covers in this book may be wide and varied, but are all relatable. I devoured this book, and am sure you will too. Here are the bits of advice I liked best >>

1. The only way past suffering is through it

“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.”

2. Don’t make up stuff about others

“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.” 

3. You can go on when you find the right channels for your love and rage

“You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can’t go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage.”

4. Choose acceptable over forgiveness

“I suggest you forget about forgiveness for now and strive for acceptance instead. Accept that the man you love was unfaithful to you. Accept that the woman you once held in regard treated you with disrespect. Accept that their actions hurt you deeply. Accept that this experience taught you something you didn’t want to know. Accept that sorrow and strife are a part of even a joyful life. Accept that it’s going to take a long time for you to get that monster out of your chest. Accept that someday what pains you now will surely pain you less.”

5. We are all worthy of love

“Of course you want someone special to love you. A majority of the people who write to me inquire about how they can get the same thing… Unique as every letter is, the point each writer reaches is the same: I want love and I’m afraid I’ll never get it.

It’s hard to answer those letters because I’m an advice columnist, not a fortune-teller. I have words instead of a crystal ball. I can’t say when you’ll get love or how you’ll find it or even promise that you will. I can only say you are worthy of it and that it’s never too much to ask for it.”

6. Make love bigger

“My grief is tremendous but my love is bigger.”

7. Tread your own path

“You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.

You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you’ve got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

8. Often, the best way is the hard way

“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.”

10. Through grief, we find growth

“The kindest and most meaningful thing anyone ever said to me is: Your mother would be proud of you. … The strange and painful truth is that I’m a better person because I lost my mom young…I’d give it all back in a snap, but the fact is, my grief taught me things. … It required me to suffer. It compelled me to reach.”