48 essays by Elizabeth Shé

Essay #20: operating systems

In Love on July 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

“Update your operating system.”
Hotmail, Yahoo, WordPress, Facebook – they all say the same thing:
You will not receive the full scope of services until you upgrade your operating system.

They’re right. My operating system is way out of date. It’s getting harder to send and receive messages, information, data, code. It affects how I communicate with the world.

Most of my life I ran a fear-based system. My brain was crowded with scary messages:
you can’t have what you want; you don’t deserve to be happy; you’re unlovable; you’re a loser; why bother, no one cares; there isn’t enough, you’re not enough.

For someone who doesn’t like horror movies, I seemed to be starring in one every single day. And I don’t mean Howling V.

Believing these lies made life extremely difficult. I was suspicious of kindness, afraid of change, reluctant to pursue happiness. I lived in poverty.

Fighting these thoughts was exhausting. “I think I can, I think I can,” may’ve worked for the Little Engine, but not for me, not in the long run.

Imagine my surprise, then, to find out these thoughts are not unique to me. Nicole Kidman is jealous of Penelope Cruz. Jennifer Lopez thought she was a loser. Ted Turner doesn’t have enough money.

We are all tuned in to radio station K-FKD, as writer Annie Lamott calls it. All lies, all the time.

Well, folks, it’s time to change the station, and update the system. I am tired of the same-old, same-old.

Radio’s on the computer nowadays, so maybe, when I upgrade, I’ll be able to hear something different.

Listening to Love – a whole different operating system (not compatible with Fear 3.0 or higher).

Stay tuned.

  1. Thank you for reminding me about how fear based mentality can be cultural and pervasive. Being conscious and intentional about not responding to fear, or out of fear: yes!

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