Cheryl Strayed is a writer and podcast host from the United States.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild, the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Brave Enough, as well as the novel Torch.

You will find below a curated collection of the popular Cheryl Strayed quotes.


Best Cheryl Strayed Quotes

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The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Work hard. Do good. Be incredible! ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Be present for your own life. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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I felt something growing in me that was strong and real. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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How wild it was, to let it be. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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One of the scariest things in our lives is actually doing what we know we want to do. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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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.

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The only way out of a hole is to climb out. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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There isn’t a thing to eat down there in the rabbit hole of your bitterness except your own desperate heart. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

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Men’s stories are seen as universal, women’s as particular. What women are up against is the battle to not be marginalized. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Famous Cheryl Strayed Quotes

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Hiking the PCT was the maddening effort of knitting that sweater and unraveling it over and over again. As if everything gained was inevitably lost. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

The obliterated place is equal parts destruction and creation. The obliterated place is pitch black and bright light. It is water and parched earth. It is mud and it is manna. The real work of deep grief is making a home there. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I didn’t feel sad or happy. I didn’t feel proud or ashamed. I only felt that in spite of all the things I’d done wrong, in getting myself here, I’d done right. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

Top Cheryl Strayed Quotes

I was trying to find a new home in the world. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Wanting to leave is enough. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing what I need to do. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

He hadn’t loved me well in the end, but he’d loved me well when it mattered. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

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The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I’d finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I had wanted to find was a way in. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

If there’s one thing I believe more than I believe anything else, it’s that you can’t fake the core. The truth that lives there will eventually win out. It’s a god we must obey, a force that brings us all inevitably to our knees. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Popular Cheryl Strayed Quotes

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.

Writing is part intuition and part trial and error, but mostly it’s very hard work. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ 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.

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Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

When the path reveals itself, follow it. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I write to find what I have to say. I edit to figure out how to say it right. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

The complicated thing about friends is that sometimes they are totally wrong about us and sometimes they are totally right and it’s almost always only in retrospect that we know which is which. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves… ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Can I convince the person about whom I’m crazy to be crazy about me? The short answer is no. The long answer is no. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

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Acceptance is a small quiet room. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me? The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Obviously memoir is subjective truth: It is my memory, my perspective, that’s the beauty. But I still wanted to be as factual as I could. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Forgiveness bellows from the bottom of the canoe. There are doubts, dangers, unfathomable travesties. There are stories you’ll learn if you’re strong enough to travel there. One of them might cure you. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Great Cheryl Strayed Quotes

My concept of an advice giver had been a therapist or a know-it-all, and then I realized nobody listens to the know-it-alls. You turn to the people you know, the friend who has been in the thick of it or messed up – and I’m that person for sure. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

It was a world I’d never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I’d staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope. A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Being so alone and so silent for so long gave me the opportunity to see how our brains actually work. I think of that so often in my regular life, as I’m always interacting with people or with my computer or phone. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I was a pebble. I was a leaf. I was the jagged branch of a tree. I was nothing to them and they were everything to me. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Until we as a gender refuse to wear any shoe that would be uncomfortable to walk a mile in, we’re perfectly screwed. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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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.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of. Your life will be a hundred times better for it. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only: it’s doing what you have to do. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Powerful Cheryl Strayed Quotes

Jump high and hard with intention and heart. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I’d walk and think about my entire life. I’d find my strength again, far from everything that had made my life ridiculous. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

“This is not how your story ends”. It’s simply where it takes a turn you didn’t expect. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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It’s a long life, sweetheart, and time heals all wounds. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward. I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

The people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

I walked until walking became unbearable, until I believed I couldn’t walk even one more step. And then I ran. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

The most terrible and beautiful and interesting things happen in life. For some of you, those things have already happened. 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.

Trust yourself. It’s Sugar’s golden rule. Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Be brave enough to break your own heart. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Wise Cheryl Strayed Quotes

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.

I am, as they say, the classic starving artist. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

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I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Believe in the integrity and value of the jagged path. We don’t always do the right thing on our way to rightness. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

My mother’s last word to me clanks inside me like an iron bell that someone beats at dinnertime: love, love, love, love, love. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Grief is tremendous, but love is bigger. You are grieving because you loved truly. The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of death. Allowing this into your consciousness will not keep you from your suffering, but it will help you survive the next day. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

How wild it was, to let it be. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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? ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

If you want to read anything nasty about me, just go to the backpacker websites. There’s this kind of elitist branch where they really believe that I had no business going backpacking. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

My connection with him and his gloriously unfractured life only seemed to increase my pain. It wasn’t his fault. Being with him felt unbearable, but being with anyone else did too. The only person I could bear to be with was the most unbearable person of all: my mother. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

My mother’s death put me in touch with my most savage self. As I’ve grown up and come to terms with her death and accepted it, the pieces of her that I keep don’t exist materially. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

That’s how we find our way outward and onward. By holding onto beauty hardest. By cradling it like the cure that it is. By making it realer than anything ever was. The rest is just monsters and ghosts. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

But compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Profound Cheryl Strayed Quotes

He was the most ordinary man in all the world, and yet in her memory he’d become luminous, like the prince in a fairy tale. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

Travel by foot. There is so much you can’t identify at top speed. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was? ~ Cheryl Strayed.

You have to say I am forgiven again and again until it becomes the story you believe about yourself. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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With him I felt trapped, branded, held, and beloved. Like a daughter. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. it’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.

One thing any backpacker will tell you is that it’s tedious and monotonous. You’re bored sometimes, so you really have to make the fun in your head. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

There is a path toward the light. The one that goes blink, blink, blink inside your chest when you know what you’re doing is right. Listen to it. Trust it. Let it make you stronger than you are. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

My whole life sort of ended when my mom died. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

He kissed me hard and I kissed him back harder, like it was the end of an era that had lasted all of my life. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

“We aren’t poor,” my mother said, again and again. Because we’re rich in love. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

We are all at risk of something. Of ending up exactly where we began, of failing to imagine and find and know and actualize who we could be. The only difference is the distance of the leap. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

It seemed to me the way it must feel to people who cut themselves on purpose. Not pretty, but clean. Not good, but void of regret. I was trying to heal. Trying to get the bad out of my system so I could be good again. To cure me of myself. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

You have to keep walking, no matter what. If you don’t, it’s a living death. You’re just standing in one place dying. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

I had problems a therapist couldn’t solve; grief that no man in a room could ameliorate. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

You get to define the terms of your life. ~ Cheryl Strayed.

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.



So these were the 121 top Cheryl Strayed quotes and sayings about life and love.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Charlotte Brontë quotes and Charlie Daniels quotes.