I have not even finished reading this book yet I feel compelled to urge you to go get it and read it immediately.
The first thing and really the only other thing I have read by Cheryl Strayed was her epic memoir "Wild." And while her story was very different from my own what I overwhelmingly appreciated was her emotional journey of healing and the process she went through with time, experience, challenges and solitude to arrive at both an understanding of herself and her circumstances.
I have been picking up and putting down "Tiny Beautiful Things," for some time but the other day I was hit by an intense need to finally get a copy and see what Dear Sugar (Cheryl Strayed) had to say about life and love.
It was not at all what I expected and yet everything I should have expected from her.
The letters between these pages are heartbreaking and profound and on several occasions have moved me to tears. Cheryl's replies are even more moving. They are heartfelt, intelligent, compassionate and simultaneously brutally and gently honest.
While the actual circumstances of each letter writer will not necessarily match up entirely with our own stories, in each we find something to relate to, something that resonates with our own selves, be it pain, fear, confusion or sadness. And in Cheryl's varied responses you will find either mountains or tiny bites of wisdom depending on how each story echoes within you.
At the core of the replies I believe there is a single universal truth....
in reaching for the advice of another, we either are truly lost and do not know what to do or we know exactly what to do but don't want to, don't know how or aren't ready to do it.
Cheryl's answers reflect this truth and her words will resonate with you, that I promise you.
In reading the stories of others who's troubles and struggles are either like our own or nothing like them at all, I think we can all find some comfort in the simple knowledge that we are all of us, just tiny, little boats, on the same great, big intimidating ocean, trying to do the work to find our way home.
Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book so far....
"Nobody can intervene to make things right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. 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."
"Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true"
"The only way you'll find out if you 'have it in you' is to get to work and see if you do"
"The reality is that, regardless of the circumstances, most moms are alternately blissed out by their love for their children and utterly overwhelmed by the spectacular amount of sacrifice they require"
"You don't have to move fast or far. You can go just an inch. You can mark your progress breath by breath"
"Acceptance asks only that you embrace what's true"
"Accept that this experience taught you something that you didn't want to know. Accept that sorrow and strife are a part of even a joyful life. Accept that someday what pains you will surely pain you less"
"When it comes down to it you must trust your truest truth even though there are other truths running along side it"
"If' there's one thing I believe more than I believe anything else, its 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"
I would love to hear which words resonate with you and whether or not you love this book as much as I already do...I truly believe you will.