25 Cheryl Strayed Quotes to Inspire You

Posted November 24, 2014 | By csponline

25 Cheryl Strayed Quotes to Inspire You

On Oct. 20, Concordia University, St. Paul welcomed author Cheryl Strayed for “A Wild Life.” During this evening of laughter, heartbreak and hope, Cheryl shared the life lessons she learned during one of her darkest times. Even as she mourned the loss of her mother and the end of her marriage, Cheryl didn’t give up. Instead, she made the life-changing decision to embark on a journey of self-discovery, hiking more than 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.

The story of her journey became a New York Times best-selling book and a movie starring Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon. We’ve compiled 25 inspirational quotes from our evening with Cheryl, as well as from the pages of Wild itself, to inspire you and maybe even change your life.


On Her Journey

  • “I see myself both insignificant and profoundly connected to everything.”
  • “My advice really is to always be wildly ambitious.”
  • “I do think that love is the greatest force on earth.”
  • “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
  • “I knew that I was not just telling my own story. I knew I was telling everyone’s story.”
  • “An opportunity to feel what it means to be human in a place that’s not about humans. That’s really about the natural world.”
  • “The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”
  • “We all in some way will come to terms with our lives. And the beauty and the sorrow in our own journey.”
  • “The wanting was a wilderness, and I had to find my own way out of the woods. It took me four years, seven months, and three days to do it. I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.”
  • “The greatest gift has been contributing to a conversation I think we need to have.”
  • “Writing this … was just speaking to the truth of what it means to grieve.”

On Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

  • “There really was something inside of me that just opened up. That said, ‘Do this.’”
  • “It offers a silence. It offers a solace. It offers a perspective.”
  • “It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
  • “I don’t think it was a heroic hike. I think it was a heroic battle for me to find my way back to myself.”
  • “I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me? The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one.”
  • “I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”

On Her Mother

  • “Through my work, my mom has been made alive to so many people. In some strange way through art, I brought my mom back.”
  • “Grief is love. That you can mourn somebody for so many years and that love is never diminished speaks to the power of love.”
  • “The amount that she loved us was beyond her reach. It could not be quantified or contained.”
  • “I had to walk even when it hurt. I had to live my life without my mom, even when I didn’t want to.”
  • “It wasn’t that I thought I was worth saving. It was that my mother loved me too well for me to ruin myself.”
  • “‘We aren’t poor,’ my mother said, again and again. ‘Because we’re rich in love.’”
  • “I felt the enormous weight of what she’d lost, which was her life, which was everything I presumed was to come.”

Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi Lambrecht, returned to college at age 40 to earn her bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, she passed away just two classes before she could finish the program. Bobbi’s passion for learning exemplifies the commitment to education that we have at Concordia. In honor of her memory, Concordia is offering a $5,000 scholarship to three new students.

This scholarship is available to students who complete the scholarship requirements by Nov. 27, 2014, and begin classes in January 2015. To learn more about this opportunity, visit online.csp.edu/bobbi.