Happy Belated Easter, everyone!
Easter is my favorite holiday and not just because she’s beautifully played by Kristen Chenoweth in American Gods.
It’s odd to me that more people don’t love Easter. It’s an OG feminist holiday celebrating the goddess Ishtar or Inanna.
While I love to celebrate the Queen of Heaven in all her glory what I really love about Easter is that it celebrates redemption.
In every version of the Easter story, from Inanna’s to Jesus’, the holiday is about redemption.
In my experience, most people mistake Easter as a holiday about resurrection and write it off as a fantastical notion that has no application in everyday life.
But the resurrection is one manifestation of redemption.
The redemption story of Easter, of all the Easters, is that the worst thing that ever happened to you could become the basis for the very best thing to ever happen to you.
When Easter stories include resurrection, a return from death in the case of Jesus, or from the underworld in the case of Inanna, that is an acknowledgement that our most vibrant life can come from the death of our old way of being.
What I love about Easter stories is that they aren’t some fake positivity bullshit.
Easter stories are difficult and painful. In the Inanna story there is the season of weeping and in the Jesus story there is Lent. In each story the pain is felt and faced as an unavoidable part of life.
Let me be very, very clear here. It’s not that bad things happen to good people or that “God won’t give you more than you can handle” or “God won’t give you more than he can handle” or “Mental illness is a story you tell yourself” or “Your scars make you who you are” or some other sickening platitude.
Bad things happen to everyone. We all have to lose parts of ourselves that we cherished and ways of being that we loved.
What the Easter stories tell us is that the way we handle those losses, those deaths, and that grief can either bring death or life.
You, dear reader, are an alchemist capable of turning life’s lead–its poison, its killing weight–into gleaming gold. You get to choose if the pain turns you into someone that hurts others or helps them. You get to chose to replace the version of yourself you lost with a version you like even better.
It’s not easy. In fact, it’s the hardest work in the world, but it is worth doing. At least, that’s the promise of Easter and that’s why it’s my favorite holiday.
I wanted to share this message with you today, dear friends, because talking about abusive advisors is difficult.
If we get down to plain facts, many PhD students are stuck with an abusive advisor in a situation where both staying and leaving feel like a death warrant for the person they were when they started grad school or for the person they wanted to be or both. This site is not yet at a place where it can save you from an abusive advisor by providing you with a passport, a thousand dollars, and two tickets to anywhere (but that is the ultimate goal).
All I can give you today is a wish for good weather and the assurances that even if you can’t control your circumstance you can control the person you become. Redemption waits for us all and no one, absolutely no one, can take that from you.