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Summary of Tiny Beautiful Things 

Short summary

Everyone needs something to fall back on in times of trouble. And in the face of a lost perspective, it would be nice to have something to refer to. Award-winning essayist and memoirist, Cheryl Strayed, offers a perfect fallback in “Tiny Beautiful Things” as she urges her readers to fully embrace themselves and not be afraid of life’s complexities. This read provides realistic solutions to the various problems of men and women of all ages — from lack of identity to the loss of a loved one. “Nobody will protect you from your suffering… You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

Key points


Accept the reality of life and make the most of it

Things often get thrown at people, without regard for who they are, or what they’ve done. Sometimes, things happen in your life and you wonder why it should have — you feel cheated as you believe you don’t deserve to have such terrible things happen. But guess what? Such is life.
Life isn’t always fair — that is the foremost reality you should hold on to.
Sometimes, things that are not our responsibility become our problem. Other times, bad things happen to good people who totally do not deserve it. Bad things happen all the time, for no definite reason. The best one can do is live life to its fullest potential, brace oneself and move on from the hurt when life’s inevitable storm hits — in whatever form it takes.
Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you because it will. ~ Cheryl Strayed
No human can control the events that will take place in his or her life. However, it would help to keep the following in mind:
• Life isn’t black and white. Sometimes, it comes in confusing colors.
• People don’t always get to do what they want or should. They do what they can.
• The past is fixed. When something happens, there is nothing you can do to change it. In other words, it is best not to cry over spilled milk as the tears can't make the milk get back in the jar.
• The future is uncertain. People change, things change, relationships change, situations change.
• Every present predicament is temporary. Things will definitely get better if you play your part.

Healing shouldn’t be rushed as it is designed to happen gradually

Though we live in a time, place, and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is bound to happen when we experience truly horrible things. The feeling of hurt is one thing every human has had to experience one way or the other and people deal with hurt differently.
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Regardless of the beliefs of those around you, stay true to who you are


When forgiveness doesn’t come easy, try acceptance


Master the art of trusting and following your instincts


Know that you don’t have to be broken to be loved


Leaving a partner might be hard but if you really want to, do it now



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