I’d like to invite you to write a letter to your inner shopper.
You know who I mean – that being inside of you who makes all the shopping decisions, who holds certain attitudes about shopping (and its close relations, like money and spending), who experiences certain emotions when shopping (or before shopping, or after shopping).
Your inner shopper is the entity that directs your shopping activities. Yes, you’ve got it now – HER.
It doesn’t have to be a long letter. It might be more of a note, something jotable on the back of an envelope. It might be a love letter, or an apology. It might be a congratulatory missive, or a reflective piece of prose. You might want to write a brief poem (Haiku, anyone?). It might be a reflection on the past, or a hope for the future.
Whatever it is, it should be a connection to your inner shopper. I know it’s easy to read this and have a quiet (or perhaps louder) smirk or snicker at this idea. But I am completely serious. Your inner shopper exists. She (or he) is important. Even if your level of awareness if firmly set to zero, your inner shopper is directing traffic – directing your attention, as well as directing your precious time, your money and your emotional and cognitive state.
Isn’t it time you got to know your inner shopper a little better?
My letter to my inner shopper would go something like this:
Dear Suzy (that’s what she’s called, don’t ask me why)
Thank you so much for all you have taught me. Who I am as a person has been informed by you, in so many ways. Just when I thought I had some understanding of the “me that I am”, you would come along and teach me that what I know is just the tip of the iceberg.
You have confused me at times. I haven’t always understood why you wanted certain things, and so bloody badly! Why was it so important to buy those Converse animal print shoes? Or those 3 additional pair of dark denim jeans? Or that suede-like reversible jacket that I wore once and gave away? Nothing seemed to placate you, except the purchasing of those items. But they still didn’t give as much as they took, did they?
I never thought of you as a shopaholic, but I guess Suzy Shopaholic has a certain ring to it. For a while there, I didn’t realise how powerful you were, and how much you directed so much of my thoughts, my feelings and my behaviours. Why did I let you spend so much time in Macys on Union Square (was it nearly 6 hours?) when the whole of San Francisco was there to be explored?
You’ve cost me, too. Not just money (oh, lordy me, I so don’t want to add up how much it all comes to. A deposit on a house? A brand new small European car? A first class round the world trip? Monthly massages for 3 years?). I can only assume I had to learn those lessons through you, and beyond an extraction of the lessons learned, there is no mileage to be gained in raking through the ashes of all the $20 bills that have been burned on the alter of purchases past.
I’m who I am today in part because of you. In many ways, nobody but you could have brought me to the point I am now. Nobody but you could have lead me to where I am standing right now. Would I have chosen all of this? Possibly not. Does it matter? Definitely not. Here I stand. Thanks, in part, to you.
You may be surprised at what you might discover when you do this exercise. Just reading this, you may be nodding your head and running an internal dialogue that says “oh yes, interesting. Can see how valuable that might be”. But that is nothing, absolutely nothing, in comparison to the power of actually doing it.
There is a yawning chasm between cognitively knowing something and actually experiencing it. That chasm can only be breached by taking action. You can’t learn to swim by reading a book, and no description of what a mango tastes like can ever come close to the experience of actually eating one.
Don’t just read this – do it
You may be amazed, delighted and enlightened by what you discover.