Why do we cling to negative experiences? The reason for healing to take time…

So it’s lockdown again for those of us living in Victoria, Australia. It’s the sixth one. I was pretty upset when the announcement was made last night, as I am coming out of a dark mental health space and had plans for Friday night and Saturday to meet some people in real life rather than virtually.

Fortunately, after a good night’s sleep, I forgot about it and decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood. Usually, I take pictures of flowers and anything interesting I see during my walks.

My walk was pretty good, and I had taken many pictures. I was getting close to my home again. But I noticed this beautiful bush filled with flowers, and I got closer to it and held a rose to take a picture.

Then I heard a voice:

“Oiee… This is my property.”

I answered:

“I was only taking a picture of this flower.”

He responded angrily:

“But this is my property.”

I stared at him. In my head, the thought crossed my mind:

“You are not taking this to your grave, old dude”.

I technically knew he was right, as I had stepped into his property. But not more than 6 inches to 1 foot from the sidewalk. Yet, technically he was right, so I had no argument.

But I was angry. I continued to stare at him, and he said:

“Are you going to stand here all day?”

I responded:

“But I’m now standing on the road, not your property.”

By this time, I knew the conversation was not going anywhere. I tried to apologize, but my tone was still angry. I told him:

“I am not going to let you ruin my day”.

In the end, I started walking home. I sat down on my garden bench, rolling a cigarette. Thoughts crossed my mind:

“Is he a racist?”

“Has he seen me in the middle of the night alone in the footy ground in front of his house? Is this why he hates me?”

“Why did he scold me once before as well, when I inquired about the limousines parked in his house?”

“Maybe people just hate me”

Fortunately, I remembered to check my thoughts and started to tell myself:

“Darling, it’s where he is, may not have anything to do with you”.

This is when I asked myself:

“Why do we cling so much to negative experiences? I mean, I had such a beautiful walk. I saw beautiful flowers. I took great pictures. I saw an excellent-looking dude who I admired secretly while taking pictures of flowers. I saw a young couple walking with their dog and wished that no harm befell their life. But I didn’t bring them home. I brought this one experience home, and making it mean so much about me”.

This is when I understood why healing takes so long. If we are true to ourselves, most of our lives have had great experiences. The happier times vastly outweigh sad times. But the emotional intensity of a single sad incident is so grave that we let it be imprinted in our hearts. What’s worse, we make them mean something about us. So much so that we need a therapist to help remove these negative beliefs created.

I know I can’t do much about my past. But I hope I remember to as quickly as possible move on from a negative experience.

Meanwhile, the last laugh is mine. That dude’s rose didn’t make it to my blog. LOL! Whereas fruits of my other neighbors’ gardening labor is displayed publicly over the internet to anyone who visits this blog post.

– Nim –

(Nimeshe Dilraj Madanayake)


  1. You expressed beautifully, and all pictures are really adorable. I wish you a great day ahead. I agree with you that sometimes people’s actions infuriate us but, maybe he was already having a bad start to the day.
    My love to you NIM.))


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