The Abandoned Shopping Cart

Is anyone out there familiar with the concept of the “abandoned shopping cart” in the realm of internet marketing/sales? Basically, this is when someone shops online, adds product(s) to their virtual shopping cart, but never clicks through to buy. Maybe they decided the shipping costs were too high, or they clung to a resolve to stick to a budget and this purchase just wasn’t going to fit. Maybe their favorite TV show came on, or the phone rang, or the dog barfed on the rug, or they just found a product they liked better somewhere else.

Some internet retailers run near-obsessive campaigns to bring you back to that purchase. Maybe you’ll get an email the day after you abandoned that cart, perhaps even with a discount involved if you decide to go ahead and buy.

But when you get back to that “shopping cart,” isn’t that a sad image? The word “abandoned” … picturing it as isolated, forgotten … you could say it’s a strange thing for me to get sentimental about, but I’d like to think it’s my empathy speaking.

Now for a personal story of my own experience as the metaphoric “abandoned shopping cart.”

I randomly met someone … he approached me, we started talking and getting to know each other a bit. We spent a little time together. Even though I hadn’t been looking to date and wasn’t feeling especially pressed to get into a relationship, my initial impressions of him were that he was the kind of person I’d pursue. While outwardly I was tempering my excitement, inside I was feeling good about it and where it was going.

In my mind, I felt we were going to keep getting to know each other, and I was enjoying the process.

And then …. nothing.

My text messages went unanswered. No response. I was hoping I’d hear something … anything … but it seemed that wasn’t forthcoming.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt and confused by it all. What had I done? Did I say something wrong? In our last meeting, all indications were that he was interested in continuing to spend time together. I spent entirely too much time replaying it all in my head, wondering where it had gone awry.

I felt … abandoned.

I don’t know what happened, and chances are I’ll never get those answers. All I can do is accept it. While I would’ve appreciated some honest communication, even if hurtful (“I’m sorry, I’m just not interested anymore;” “I don’t see this going anywhere,” etc.), I may not get that, and I can’t see the point in chasing it down. I wasn’t going to be that desperate retailer, offering a “discount” (in this case, my emotions) just to rope him back in again.

I certainly spent plenty of time in the “dark side” of this encounter; a whole series of thoughts like “This is why I wasn’t dating; it’s always just disappointing and painful.” “I didn’t look for this encounter, and yet it appeared in my life – why me?” “I’m never going to end up in a good, honest, intimate relationship … I am fated to these types of people/encounters.”

But how does that serve me? Remember, I believe that your thought patterns are going to directly affect the things you attract. If I choose to focus only on the negative, that negativity will perpetuate itself continuously. But if I affirm myself with the positive, I will stay out of that negative space, and in turn attract all elements of positive energy into my universe. Things get better in my life because I WILL them to be better.

I have been meditating daily, and focusing on these affirmations: Good things will happen for me, and already are happening for me. I am lovable, good, and kind. Another’s opinions of me or actions toward me do not determine my worth. Things are happening as they should in God’s plan for the universe.

So, instead of being the abandoned shopping cart, isolated and unmoving, I chose to get behind myself and push. I’m worth that, and I’m much happier being my own driver and source of forward movement … rather than looking for someone else to do it for me.

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Andrew Hines

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