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RECO Reads: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Author Cheryl Strayed refers to quotes as “mini-instruction manuals for the soul,” and her most recent published work is the greatest testament to that analogy.

Full of heart, important questions, and thoughts to savor and simmer in, Brave Enough is a fitting companion to Strayed’s other works, including Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things. The former, a memoir detailing Strayed’s experiences hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, is a delicate and raw exploration of grief, self-discovery, and relationships.

Brave Enough offers snippets of wisdom that speak to the connectors that bind us all together. Each of these short lines serves as a reminder of the transformations that we all have the capacity to make within our lives, and the doubt and fear that we must overcome in moving forward.

In writing last week’s Friday blog, I came across a beautiful quote of Strayed’s that led me to read the rest of Brave Enough in one sitting. I could not mark all of my favorites; there were too many. With over 100 quotes to choose from, I guarantee at least one (or several) will resonate with you, too.

While this collection is not a typical “recovery text,” it is one that is full of what makes recovery happen: honesty, forgiveness, and gratitude. These morsels can be looked upon as fragments of larger life lessons, and can supply a perspective that you may not have considered before.

After experiencing the untimely death of her mother, Strayed followed a path that eventually led to the hike that inspired her memoir, forming another path to her current work in writing. Her commentary on loss, resilience, and renewed hope has allowed millions to relate to her story. Brave Enough is a profound assortment of musings that will stay with you long after you’ve journeyed through its pages.

To close out this week, I will leave you with three of my favorite quotations from the book. I hope that these words will serve as motivation for your weekend, and as the kind of “instruction manuals” you can hold onto.

Favorite Quotes from Brave Enough

  1. “Be brave enough to break your own heart.”
  2. “People will try to tell you otherwise, but boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not. They are not judgments, punishments, or betrayals. They are a purely peaceable thing: the basic principles you identify for yourself that define the behaviors that you will tolerate from others, as well as the responses you will have to those behaviors. Boundaries teach people how to treat you and they teach you how to respect yourself.”
  3. “Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only: it’s doing what you have to do.”

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