“The Sacred Power of Goodness”
“To see ourselves with a sense of that wholeness, to sit by the river and let go of the bad things we did, allows us to see others for their wholeness too, and forgive them as well.”
When I read the first few pages of Tiny Beautiful Things — a compilation of letters from Cheryl Strayed’s advice column, Dear Sugar — I immediately knew it was going to be healing. This wasn’t a surprise. Everyone who reads Cheryl’s writing knows she’s poetic. Still, Tiny Beautiful Things is different. As I read the letters sharing people’s deepest yearnings and sorrows, the book’s lesson quickly became clear: Being human is messy. Our job is to find the beauty in it.
Whereas I’ve long resisted that complexity, Cheryl’s compassionate responses encouraged me to accept it. Still, relinquishing control left me with even bigger questions… How do we live with our grief and suffering? What makes love last? How do we rise up as our better selves? Fortunately, we explored them in today’s episode.
Her wisdom on self-forgiveness reflects the invitation of our conversation…
“Of course, sometimes amends are necessary. But, usually, some of the biggest work that we need to do is to let it go. To say within ourselves: ‘I was suffering at that time. I did something that I regret. And, I need to accept that's a part of who I am, which is not a perfect person. But, a person who sometimes acted in a way that I'm ashamed of.’
The minute I can get comfortable there and say: ‘That is a part of who I am.’ I can also say: ‘Another part of who I am is a person who gives a lot of love to the world through my writing or who's a good friend or a good mom.’
To see ourselves with a sense of that wholeness, to sit by the river and let go of the bad things we did, allows us to see others for their wholeness too, and forgive them as well.”
In illuminating the freedom of “allowing what’s true to be true,” Cheryl guides us to that river. I hope her words are as healing for you as they’ve been for me.