Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar – Cheryl Strayed

This book has tiny, beautiful, impactful, and wonderful insights and advice. I didn’t know what to expect when I bought it. I didn’t even know that the book was going to be based solely on letters from all sorts of people. Teenagers, orphans, young adults, or helpless, aggressive, and lonely parents. It was a really interesting read because at every point I caught myself thinking. It’s weird how we end up making things about ourselves but I guess it’s human nature to do so. This book has a lot to share with anyone. I love that no matter who you are, you can find something in here to resonate with, and if not, it’ll surely make you think about something or someone.

Highlights

  1. The word “love” comes loaded with promises and commitments that are highly fragile and easily broken.
  2. Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, or nourished by humor.
  3. Suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.
  4. People who decided simply to live their truth, even when doing so wasn’t simple. Each and every one of them had the courage to say, “this is who I am even if you’ll crucify me for it.”
  5. If you don’t find a place to put those feelings, you may not be able to keep yourself from putting them on your child. And that’s a terrible place to put them.
  6. Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.
  7. To be genuine means to be actual, to be true, to be sincere and honest.
  8. Our minds are small, but our hearts are big. Humans are beautifully imperfect and complex.
  9. But compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got.
  10. Hell is other people.
  11. Life is a roiling stew of fear and need and desire and love and the hunger to be loved.
  12. When bad things happen, often the only way back to wholeness is to take it all apart.
  13. Accept that someday what pains you now will surely pain you less.
  14. Be fearless enough to let it transform you.
  15. When something ugly happens to you, you don’t have to let it make you ugly.
  16. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you let forgiven stomp all over you once again. Forgiveness means you’ve found a way forward that acknowledges harm done and hurt caused without letting either your anger or your pain rule your life or define your relationship with the one who did you wrong.
  17. “There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the one we don’t we don’t know” – Donald Rumsfeld.
  18. You don’t have to be broken for anyone to love you.
  19. Boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not.
  20. Remember that there is plenty for all of us. Remember that someone else’s success has absolutely no bearing on your own.
  21. The narratives we create in order to justify our actions and choices become in so many ways who we are. They are the things we say back to ourselves to explain our complicated lives.
  22. Sometimes the greatest truth isn’t in the confession, but rather in the lesson learned.
  23. Let go of expectation, even if it’s easier said than done.
  24. Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do.
  25. Saying it’s hard is ultimately a justification to do whatever seems like the easiest thing to do.
  26. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do.
  27. We learn from experience, but no need to keep learning the same things from the same experiences over and over again, right?
  28. You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. Be brave enough to break your own heart.
No matter what, you should get to negotiate and articulate the complexities and contradictions of your feelings.
*I take no credit for any of these points.

Recommend me a book

No horror books, please!!