“Be brave enough to break your own heart”

Author of number one New York Times bestselling memoir, Wild, Cheryl Strayed has been touching our hearts and giving us hope in her writing and in her books for years. She has been giving advice with her bestselling book Tiny Beautiful Things and uses her own personal stories to help others through the hardships of their lives. People take comfort in her words and use them to get them through points in their life. Whether it be the best times in their life or the worst, Strayed’s words have stuck in the minds of those who need need guidance and comfort, and those words have collated to form her book, Brave Enough.

All over the world, millions of people have found life and depth in the words of Strayed. Ranging from her interviews, from Wild, or her collection of advice on love and life, Strayed has comforted those who feel alone, gave a hand to hold for those who were hurt, a smile to those who laugh, and a steel-toecapped boot to those in need of some tough love. Brave Enough is a collection of quotes and thoughts of Strayed that prove that even when you hit rock-bottom in life, there are words that can give us the strength to get back up.

brave enough

After reading the introduction to Brave Enough, I felt an immediate connection with Strayed. She spoke of the importance that quotes have played in her life and her passion for words because she understands the power that words can have on people, and how one may use them to derive strength, seek comfort, find encouragement and use as motivation. I’ve always been a lover of words, as most writers and journalists are. One of the first quotes I personally fell in love with was the words of Roald Dahl, after my parents used to read me his stories as a child: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from Strayed from her work, essays and interviews she’s given. She views quotes as “mini-instruction manuals for the soul”, and has said that she wants her quotes “to help reset intentions, clarify thoughts, and create a counternarrative to the voice of doubt.” She is a strong woman who has overcame many traumas in her life, and it makes us feel like whenever we have a crisis or problem we should read her quotes from Brave Enough and take comfort. Because whatever our problem is, chances are, Strayed’s seen worse, and she’s qualified to tell us how we’ll survive.

Her words prove to us that when there’s a crisis, Strayed doesn’t freeze, she moves forward. She gets the rest of us to move forward, because she’s seen worse. She’s survived worse, and she knows that we’ll survive, too.

Words have the power to change us, and when quotes strike a chord with us, those words now no longer belong to that other person – they also belong to us, and as Strayed puts it: “we use those words as an articulation of our own inner voices, not only as a celebration of theirs.” We use them to put into words how we feel, and in doing so it makes us feel as though we are not alone, and reminds us that we’re not the only ones to question our own lives, as Strayed puts it: “Their existence is proof that others have questioned, grappled with, and come to know the same truths we question and grapple with, too.”

These are some of my personal favourite quotes of Strayed’s that struck a chord with me in Brave Enough.

  1. Be brave enough to break your own heart.

This my personal favourite from her book, one that’s stuck with me ever since I first read it from her book on advice and love, Tiny Beautiful Things. I was delighted to find that it made her book of quotes.

2. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that’s not true anymore.

3. I considered my options. There was only one, I knew. There was always only one. To keep walking.

4. 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.

5. 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 with anything else.

6. Love is our essential nutrient. Without it, life has little meaning. It’s the best thing we have to give and most valuable thing we receive. It’s worthy of all the hullabaloo.

7. Go because you want to go. Because wanting to leave is enough.

8. If it is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.

9. Bravery is acknowledging your fear and doing it anyway.

10. Our most meaningful relationships are often those that continued beyond the juncture at which they came closest to ending.

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