Martyr Energy vs Jester Energy

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, she talks about the difference between martyr energy and jester energy. Martyr energy is extremely common in our Western world of today. It’s the idea that we have to carry SO MUCH, that we must bear the pain put on us, that salvation and redemption and transcendence come through suffering.

Trickster energy doesn’t fight that. It just laughs.

Trickster energy is playfulness, chaos, creation. The trickster is amoral. The trickster cannot be dominated, cannot be conquered, cannot be destroyed.

As women, we’re really good with martyr energy. And it’s for great and beautiful reasons — because we are strong — because we can bear so much.

But should we? Is it really necessary? Or are we stuck in the old ways and habits of the past, stuck in the ruts where others placed us, in rusty and toxic systems slowly grinding to a halt?

Let’s shrug out from underneath the bullshit burdens put on us. When someone presents us with double standards of shame and blame, with competition that destroys both competitors, with games we cannot win, let’s laugh, with incredulity, with amazement. Let’s slip away. Let’s embrace ecstatic joy rather than fight within a framework that never worked for us to begin with.

“The trickster understands that all this world is temporary, all of it is shifting, all of it is nonsense, all of it is fair game for delight. The trickster never dies a grim death in a walk-up tenement while suffering romantically from tuberculous. The trickster doesn’t compete, doesn’t compare, doesn’t beat his head against the wall, doesn’t wrestle demons, doesn’t try to dominate mysteries that were never meant to be dominated in the first place. The trickster just keeps on PLAYING. The trickster is slippery and sly, wry and wise, always looking for the secret door, the hidden stairway, the funhouse mirror, the sideways way of looking at things — and the trickster always endures.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert