No matter how much I shit talk many of the spiritual advisors, teachers, leaders of the world, there are some that I just really love.

One of my most beloved spiritual leaders from history happens to be Aimee Semple McPherson. The founder of the Foursquare Church, the creator of the Angelus Temple, and the subject of one of my favorite kidnapping stories in history.

Sister Aimee might have started her lifelong devotion to preaching, out of love for Jesus. I mean, there isn’t any other explanation, right? Or it could have been that our girl just liked the spotlight.

There isn’t anything wrong with liking the spotlight, even if you’re a spiritual teacher of some sort. The gods certainly don’t want us hiding our light from the world, so showing it off isn’t a sin, no matter how much folks want to say that it is.

However, it’s when people start listening, that you have to check yourself. Aimee didn’t have that, she didn’t have folks helping her check herself. Most of her family clung to her famous robes, her parishioners saw her as infallible, and the public ate up her persona, they loved the showmanship of her preaching style, which was only accentuated by her attention to her physical image, which she honed with the help of Hollywood.

So when nobody called Aimee on her power trip, she did what many cult or religious leaders do. Whatever she wanted.

Aimee was suspected of banging a few of her married parishioners, then she started being accused of all sorts of shit, and on May 18, 1926, she was ‘kidnapped‘ from a beach in Santa Monica, California, by a couple…held captive, but….just held captive. There was no ransom demand received by Aimee’s people, and one of her parishioners even drowned looking for Aimee’s body, while a diver died of exposure doing the same. She showed up a little more than a month later. She stayed true to her story for the rest of her life, no matter how many different theories popped up for why she’d disappeared for so long.

Even dickwad Robert P. Shuler weighed in and saw this as an opportunity to destroy his famous counterpart, saying that she was obviously guilty, whereas there has never been any way to disprove her claim. Many have tried.

But what’s interesting about this whole thing is not that she might have faked her own kidnapping. It’s her whole life leading up to, and after the kidnapping. She rose high, she preached at a time when hellfire and brimstone was all you heard in a church, but she preached love. She remained true, throughout her career and her life, to the belief that her god loved and accepted everyone.

Which of course, is true. He does. Even when you’re using Him to put your name in lights.

Aimee wasn’t preaching ugly. She continued to draw people in with love, not fear or guilt.

But all of that charisma and joy that she brought to her persona, the cult of personality which followed her, it all weighs heavy. When you know that most of the world now typecasts you, generally because you did such a fucking awesome job playing a role, you realize that it may be difficult to be anyone else…even yourself.

That weight spread over the power of that very cult of personality, often pushes one into that trap of getting too big, too famous, too arrogant, too hypnotized to believe that you could fall, that your own worshipers, followers, fans, may turn around and eat you when they realize that you’re human, when they catch you when you aren’t on.

Aimee fell into that. Her mother warned her, but she didn’t listen.

Power isn’t bad. It is what we do with it.

Aimee used it for good…nearly all the time. But when you are in the spotlight, if that power is even once, used for the proverbial dark-side, that same spotlight shows off everything…highlights all of your naughty bits. It becomes a reminder that there is always someone watching, and always someone who wants you to fail.

Make sure that you can live up to the expectations that your image and persona, has put in place.

after all of the work that Anne Boleyn put into making sure that she was queen, rather than royal mistress, it must have been a blow, not so much that her psychotic husband was having her put to death, but that he had the marriage annulled a few days before her murder.

sometimes it feels the same, like an annulment, no matter what relationship is ending, or how it’s ending. sometimes our hearts are so broken, so beat the fuck up, that it feels like the other person is trying to erase the time that you’ve been together. sometimes all you can think about is, “please let me forget” because the memory, the suffering, is so bitter. and sometimes you want to annul it, the entire thing, from the beginning to the end, just make it disappear.

we are…genuinely the sum of our experiences, so if you rid yourself of that experience, what do you rid of yourself? what part of the glory that is you, ceases if you never had that experience?

the word annulment is defined as an obliteration, a cancellation, to nullify, to make nothing. but it was something, wasn’t it?

once upon a time, you wanted each other, for whatever reason, you made the decision to marry, live with, bang each other and it happened. it can’t be unmade, we haven’t figured out how to go back in time and change our choices. when we do, i’m first in line to stay active and not become a chunky monkey.

just kidding. i probably wouldn’t do anything different. you probably wouldn’t either.

douche-bag Henry VIII had his marriage annulled because he fell out of love, because he wanted to marry again, because he wanted to be able to put his wife to death without repercussions, and of course, because he was a cunt.

but his marriage to Anne Boleyn didn’t get obliterated. their daughter that was once deemed illegitimate by his royal ass, became one of THE badass rulers of Great Britain.

so whether you’re the one who wants to forget, whether you are the one who is feeling forgotten, remember….it happened. it happened and you are more because of it. what did you get out of it? how are you different than before? what can you do with that?

what badass ruler of your world…has this birthed?

I recently noticed a crisis of faith, not in the gods, the spirits, anything like that. It’s a growing crisis of faith in humanity, that which I have loved so dearly, all of my life.

I guess I don’t understand.

I’ve never wanted to be mean to people, to animals, I don’t want to tear shit down, I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t know, I guess I try to always remember that Pandora made sure that she saved Hope. I have always had hope. But everyone’s pissed at everyone else and trying so hard to destroy each other. Children are dying, children are in cages, children are being raped, enslaved, enlisted, kidnapped, children. Like….how? I don’t get it. It isn’t other children doing this. It isn’t the devil, it isn’t monsters or demons, it’s adults, human adults.

I don’t get it. I know the psychology behind it all, I’ve read the scientific articles from the psychiatric community and I get that part, but you know, my expertise is in the soul and that’s what I don’t get. The soul, the energy that gives us life, that connection to what was, what is and what will be…doesn’t that hurt?

When I am cruel. When I am mean. When my temper flares and I say things that I regret. When I cast in anger and it does more damage than I had intended. When my vengeance is successful. I feel such sorrow. I feel such a damage to my soul. It is a Prometheus-level injury, and entirely self-inflicted.

So if I hurt that bad, then I guess I just don’t understand how these people can speak, think, act, commit such cruelties and not be bleeding from their eyeballs with the pain in their souls.

I’ve had enough friends, family and clients that pull this shit, that I know it by heart.

You got involved with someone whose red flags seemed pink because you didn’t bother taking your rose-colored glasses off. You figured that when they said that they didn’t want to be exclusive, that they didn’t really want a relationship, no big, you don’t like jumping in too fast either.

You believed them when they said the sweet words and bought you with cheap gifts, you turned their words into what you wanted to believe, rather than paying attention to the unspoken nuances.

You didn’t say anything, you didn’t do anything when you found out that you really aren’t in an exclusive relationship, because they had told you in the beginning that they wouldn’t be.

You believed that you were happy, you convinced yourself that you were loved, that your partner just needs more time, needs to get their shit together, needs to recover from old hurts, old heartbreaks.

Then you started to believe that if you’re already all in, but they aren’t, it must fucking be you, you’re just not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, wealthy enough. You must just not be enough. You always suspected, so now you know.

Yeah, that’s what you had yourself convinced of.

But what you forgot to look at is that you marked yourself down like a fucking bargain basement deal. You did. When you were ready to make it a relationship, you didn’t say anything definite. You just asked, you just suggested, begging like a starving dog as if you aren’t worth anything but scraps.

It isn’t that you aren’t enough. It’s just that you didn’t insist on your value. You didn’t think, believe, know, that you are worth so much more.

You had yourself convinced that you could end up wanting what they want, that you could just deal with not feeling like number one.

Listen, there is nothing wrong with people who don’t want an exclusive relationship. As long as they are dating only like-minded folks.

But that doesn’t always happen, because love is power, and there are those out there who will take the love that you give them, gorge themselves on it, and then turn around and give that love to someone else, or to themselves, but they will share their love with you…only in so much as it will keep you running behind the car, trying not to be strangled by the leash.

So why do you believe that you are a discounted product? All of that work that you’ve put into becoming the person that you are, that magnificent work of art that is entirely one of a kind and impossible to reproduce, and you’re going to discount that shit? For what? Faux relationships and counterfeit connections?

Who are you missing out on while you’re investing your time, energy and love on a pipe dream? Even if the person that you’re missing out on is yourself, aren’t you worth it?

I sure the fuck think so.

My mom’s been dead for a few years now so I don’t really celebrate it. My kids wish me a happy Mother’s Day, I think they’ve take me out a couple of times, but they both know that it’s just not really my thing.

I love being a mother, it’s the most precious label I wear, my favorite cells in my body. But I have royally fucked up as a mother. I don’t necessarily grasp the concept I suppose. I always just saw my daughter as a mini-adult, and I didn’t raise my son, so my idea of motherhood, parenthood…is just strange.

Is it our jobs to make sure that our children are safe? Well duh, but it’s our jobs to make sure that all children are safe. Is it a parent’s job to make sure that their children are healthy? Yeah, but again…it’s an adult’s job to make sure that all children are healthy. I mean, everything that I can think of that is being a parent is sorta pertinent to being a human adult.

Emotional attachments…there we go, it is the emotional attachment, so in that case, I’m a fucking awesome mom, because I obsessively love my children. I do not feel that way about your children….trust me.

Yet still, I do in fact, love your children. Primarily because they’re human, but also because of their potential. Everything about them is potential. Potential is on my ‘favorite things’ list, so you can see why I love them…

Some of them will surpass all of the fucking shit that they go through. They will not be broken, they will not become hard or cruel, but they will rise in an epic Maya Angelou rise and they will not become what life has shaped them to be…they will become something better, they will create themselves from the bits and pieces that they have loved.

Some of them will break.

Some of them will leave you behind.

Some of them will cling to you.

Some of them will hate you.

Some of them will forgive you.

May your sins against your children have been forgivable.

May your children be forgiving.

May we remember that they are all our children

and may we always be better mothers than we think that we are.

A blessed Mother’s Day to you.

my paternal grandmother had already begun teaching at the young age of sixteen, when my grandfather, whose first wife was dying, saw her and told her father that he was going to be his next wife. She didn’t teach anymore, she bore children and pretended to be better off than she was, just so that she could hobnob with those who could match her wits. My grandmother became more and more inhumane as time went on, until she represented for most of her children and grandchildren, the epitome of evil.

my maternal grandmother became a wife and mother, the year that the U.S. Navy began the WAVES program. It had been her dream and then it was nothing more than a cloud in her coffee. She worked as an office manager for L.A. City Schools and met famous child actors and professional football players who subbed during off seasons. My grandmother loved Hollywood and football, but it wasn’t the Navy, so she turned her sorrow into fundamentalist Christianity and suggested to single mothers that they lie and say that the father had died, that they had been married, that their child wasn’t a bastard.

my maternal great-grandmother didn’t want children, she wanted a beautiful, powerful, and wealthy man. But sometimes the beautiful, powerful and wealthy men want children. Sometimes those children die. Sometimes those men die. Sometimes we grow older and no more beautiful, powerful and wealthy men pursue. My great-grandmother didn’t get her dream romance, it made her cruel, because even though dreams might not die, sometimes the drive, the determination to fulfill those dreams…sometimes that dies.

my mother wanted one thing in life. she wanted to be a lounge singer. She didn’t want to be famous, she wanted her adoring fans to come to a smoky bar and watch her writhe on a piano while belting out covers of Joan Baez and Johnny Mathis. She wanted her pay to be in Long Island Iced Teas and five dollar bills in a crumpled into a fishbowl, matchbooks with numbers scrawled in drying ballpoint ink. but her mother, who before my mother was even born, gave up her own dreams, crushed my mothers and convinced her that it was a sin. So my mother became a wife and mother and turned her song into something that was tied to her depression and anger, a salve for her emotional turmoil.

I am descended from the same human condition that you are, descended from those who gave up their dreams, whose dreams were crushed, who just didn’t have anymore fight left.

Every fucking day, I fight my laziness, my pout, my moping, my blues, to remember that nobody else need to respect, believe in, agree with, my dreams. There will be roadblocks because nothing worth having comes easy, except my children. They came out pretty easy. Just saying.

Whether I fulfill my dreams, or whether those dreams change, whether they die, I don’t want to be at the end and think, maybe if I just tried one more day. So I’ll try one more fucking day. Come on, if I can do it, you can definitely do it, because you are a bad ass beast.

Awesome post!

The Allergic Pagan

American Gods is a novel by Neil Gaiman, which has now been made into a (really good) TV series on Starz.  The premise of American Gods is that the people who came to the American continent–including conquerors, slaves, and immigrants–brought with them their gods … literally.  The gods now walk around disguised as human beings.  But the old gods have weakened as belief in them disappeared, and they now battle with new gods, gods of the internet and credit cards and super highways.

View original post 2,061 more words