Cheryl Strayed is a best-selling author, memoirist and essayist. Her work reached international fame when her memoir, Wild, was released as a major motion picture in 2014. Strayed’s writing touches on the grace and grit needed to survive life’s toughest obstacles. No stranger to suffering herself, her work speaks from a place of experience and truth.
But some of Strayed’s most acclaimed writing comes not from her books, but her advice column, Dear Sugar.
For years, faithful column readers asked Strayed about everything from body image to breakups to jealousy. Writing only under her pen name, Sugar, Strayed anonymously addressed each question with wisdom, tenderness, and deep empathy. No matter what she said, her advice resonated far beyond whatever topic she was covering.
Read on to discover some of the best and most beloved advice she had for readers.
“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.”
On Letting Go
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
On Being True To Yourself
“Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”
On Making the Most Out of Life
“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.”
On Being A Warrior
“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.”