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  • Writer's pictureSharon Uy

#40. The Sacred Mystery of Mixed Messages


Title inspired by recent consumption of the following: 9 days of novena for Mama, perpetually wearing my Last Supper basketball shorts, and binging the television show Evil.

Collage inspired by title.

Current mood inspired by having finished Letters A-Z and panicked by the vast expanse of possibilities before me.


Perhaps you, too, experience on a regular basis the gaping chasm between the fundamental need to write and the actual ability to produce words. Or some such equivalent when creating. That is the place you can find me most weekends. Which is cheaper than finding me around the corner at White Harte, though I'm sure there's some other cost to my irresoluteness.

But not in this moment! For today, I went to see a client's show (an absolutely and maddeningly brilliant one-woman play, and at her heartfelt invitation and with permission from myself, so leave the judging to Jesus). I left feeling 1) changed, and 2) tired after having cried at least six times. I stayed to say hello briefly after the show, and she told me, "I couldn't have done this without you."  


Here's the thing. We're made up of, among other things, trillions of synapses, all shooting messages back and forth, up and down, side to side, diagonally, perpendicularly, and so on and so forth (and back, ha ha ha). So it really shouldn't be such a surprise every single day of my life that I receive from within myself so many mixed messages.


Lately the mixed messages have included but are not limited to:


"Say yes to everything! Surrender to all! Accept every single opportunity (for work) as... an opportunity to make money and to... learn something. But also, if it isn't an expletive-laced YES, then it unequivocally must be a resounding NO, because only the expletive-laced YESes are indicative of true soul alignment."


"Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life! But don't forget that your job won't love you back, so remember that once your art starts really making you money, you won't love it anymore, and then you'll be working every day anyway."


"Quit being a therapist and dedicate yourself fully to your art, but also maybe don't, because you need consistent enough money to live and to acquire and maintain the means to make said art."


I was in such awe after watching my client perform, and it hit me while watching her receive her so-deserved standing ovation with pride and worthiness, that there is a rhyme and a reason to the work that I do as a therapist. There just has to be. I mean, I am incredibly blessed and grateful to have that reflected back to me on a very regular basis by my clients. My work is meaningful, purposeful, actually fun, and also exhausting. Add all of it to the mix(ed messages), I suppose.


I'm currently learning and re-learning the lesson that money is energy, for real. And not all energy is or will be in alignment with our true selves, our souls. Not all money is "good" money. That's easier to digest if we're talking about the choice between working an objectively "good" and harmless job versus being paid to murder someone and hide their remains in another's backyard with the purpose of framing them. But it's harder to digest and easier to avoid if we task ourselves with looking at the acute alignments in energy. The kind of alignments that force us to answer such questions as: Do I actually want to do this? Is this how I want to spend my days, my life? Will I feel good and present and grounded in my body if I do X, Y, or Z?


I've had this series of questions posed to me monthly for the last however many months. Lessons and teachings present themselves over and over and over until they're learned. I'm still learning, and sometimes that's just how it is. Until it isn't.


I remember going to church a few times as a kid, enraptured by the god-given autotune of the priest's voice as he singingly asked us to proclaim the mystery of faith. The money I make right now, as W9 vibes as it is (as opposed to the beautiful consistency of W2), is pretty damn certain. Sometimes it doesn't align, though, I know it and I feel it in my bones. Yet I still have trouble proclaiming the mystery of faith. Getting there, but not quite.


It's even easier for me to digest the concept of energetic alignments if I think about all of the people in my life. Some aren't objectively "bad" for me, or bad at all, but when it's not right, I feel it in my bones and I'm shown one way or another, sooner or later, until I surrender, even as I know that missing what was does not mean that what is now is for me. Another mixed message of loathsome proportions. Loyalty versus discernment.


When I think about the word mystery, I think of curling up with those glossy yellow Nancy Drew books in my cozy and loved-in childhood bedroom that I finally moved out of. Adding the priest's melodious voice, however, turns the word into something more magical, something to be deeply revered. We don't need to figure out the mystery of faith or mixed messages, we simply bow to it, surrender to it, ascribe it divine significance. And who in their right mind questions God? [Raises hand feebly.]

Without our even trying, we are bundles of conflicting signals, in both word and action. It's a game of intention versus perception, and the truth is either somewhere in between or far, far away from the two.

Here's what I'm going to do, as I ask humbly for your moral support in slapping me with accountability, as if you needed another little-to-non-paying job. (No one's projecting here.) I'm about a month and a week away from turning 40, and not that time matters or even exists, but I'd like to go on a diet. A phone diet, a food diet. Not in a manic or disordered way. But in a way in which I'm being intentional and mindful of what I'm consuming, because I'm convinced that what we eat and what we put our attention on are among the most basic of answers to our problems these days, though they're the most challenging (for me, anyway) to shift.

I'd also like to steep myself in the wonder of mysteries, whether they be faith or mixed messages or sorrow or love. I want to stop trying to figure things out, to stop trying to determine the "right" or "wrong" answer, to remove myself from the in-between and meet the truth somewhere far away.



- As always, with love and thanks,


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