20 Cheryl Strayed Quotes To Inspire You When You're Feeling Lost

As anyone who has ever read Wild or Tiny Beautiful Things will likely tell you, Cheryl Strayed's quotes and writing can be life-changing. Her voice hits you where you need it most. It will make you want to change your life — whether that means packing up your life and hiking over 1,000 miles or just trying to be a better person in smaller ways.

From Wild , the memoir that swept the world in 2012, to her compiled advice in Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, Strayed has been inspiring people everywhere for years now. She even rebooted her insanely popular Dear Sugar column as a podcast.

If there's one person who can write about happiness and conquering your fears first-hand, it's definitely Strayed. After losing her mom and her husband, Strayed hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail when she was only 22. And, aside from the boots on her feet and an enormous backpack, she was completely alone. But it was this loss and time alone that let her regain her perspective — one she shares with readers everywhere. From loss, life, love, and happiness, Strayed has something to say on the subject. With the release of her newest book, Brave Enough, earlier this month, these lessons are more accessible than ever.

So, no matter how lost you're feeling, here are 20 essential quotes from Cheryl Strayed that will help you regain your perspective.

On Life

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

Wild

2. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

3. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

4. "How wild it was, to let it be.”

Wild

5. "In my perception, the world wasn't a graph or formula or an equation. It was a story.”

Wild

On Happiness

6. "Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

7. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

8. “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 your 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 of economics or science or the arts.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

9. "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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

10. “It is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

On Fear

11. “Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

12. "Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story."

Wild

13. “Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

14. “What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart. Pay no mind to the vision that the commission made up. It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

15. “Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.”

Wild

On Love

16. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

17. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

18. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

19. “We aren't poor," my mother said, again and again. "Because we're rich in love.”

Wild

20. “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.”

Tiny Beautiful Things

Images: Christopher Campbell, Sascha Oberholzer, Pavel L, Abigail Keenan, Caleb Ekeroth, London Scout/Unsplash; Pexels (20)