Although this happened more than two decades ago, it remains etched in my mind as one of the most amusing incidents that affected my life…

We used to live in a beautiful neighborhood that was surrounded by a public park during my early childhood. Surrounded by lush greenery and playground, it used to be a haven for me and my friends who frequented the park after school.

In fact, my mom used to walk me through the park each day to get to school and back.

I still remember the beautiful frangipanni trees that would sprinkle their vibrant flowers on the footpaths and the ripe mangoes that hung low enough for me to pluck them. It was a paradise of sorts for a small person like me.

There was this particularly huge frangipanni tree that stood along the way, which we always passed on our way to and from school each day. We must have walked past it at least a few hundred times.

In the afternoons and late evenings, this park usually wears a deserted look; especially during the weekdays. My mom would usually pick me up from school in the afternoon and enjoyed sitting on the bench under the huge frangipanni tree for a few moments before heading off again.

One day, when she was walking past that tree, a neighbor who she met asked her if she ever felt anything strange when she sat under that tree. My mom thought that was a weird question and shook her head. The neighbor then went on to say that this part of the park was haunted and that a drug addict had committed suicide by hanging himself from that tree a few weeks ago. My mom, although visibly shaken; decided to ignore the comment and returned home.

Now, until the very second before she was told about the tragic story, my mom was perfectly fine. The next day, when she came to pick me up from school, she walked past that tree. Suddenly, she recalled what the neighbor said. She started to tremble in fear and her entire perception of the tree, the bench and the beautiful park changed. In an instant she began to feel cold (although it was a hot afternoon) and she dashed past that tree and never looked back until she reached my school.

All I can remember, is her calling my dad over the phone that day, asking him to pick us up from school as she was not feeling too well. By the time we reached home, she was pale and weak. She had a high fever and was restless. I was afraid and dad was very worried.

More than 3 days later, she finally confessed about the incident and told us that she believed she was being haunted by the drug addict who died! That really freaked us out and my dad asked a priest to come home and pray for her.

So, much to my amusement, we had a prayer session at home that evening. It took a while for my mom to return to normalcy and she would never walk through the park again. Neither was I ever allowed to play in the park, which annoyed me. I still remember the days when my mom would narrate the entire incident to me, with an attempt to convince me that the ghost may possess me if I dared to play near that tree again.

For a young mind, that was too much information to absorb but I would stay away from the park just so that I can keep her happy.

Till today, I do not believe that she had a paranormal experience. The only ‘ghost’ that she saw or felt was in her mind. She made herself believe that it was possible for her to be frightened by the ghost. She convinced herself that the park was haunted,when it probably wasn’t!

Most of us have seen horror flicks and somehow, certain images from these movies remain embedded in our subconscious mind. When you do get frightened of anything that creaks in the dark, your mind just throws in these images that keep playing in your head, escalating your emotions in an instant.

The thought of encountering ‘that ghost’, which you saw in the movie or something similar in reality often can bring about unpleasant experiences that add on to neighborhood urban legends!

So, had my mom never been told about the incident, she would have probably spent the next few years walking past that tree and enjoying sitting under its shade, smelling the sweet flowers that hung in clusters.

You may recall similar incidents that happened in your life. They may not even be as dramatic as this, but it would have changed the way you perceived something.

Was it worth letting your mind wander? Could it have been avoided? I suppose I can say it did. I missed playing in the park and the lovely walks.

Don’t miss out on the beauty of life just because you let such thoughts possess you. The mind is very powerful. Much more than you probably wish. Yet, it can be controlled. You can control it. Let the unknown remain so.
Take in the good part of life for they are worth relishing. Discard the negative aspects of it,for besides learning from your mistakes, they hold no other true value.

Author's Bio: 

Sheeba Riyas is an author,motivational speaker and founder of UToL, the revolutionary scientific personal development platform.

Having studied and researched the complex structures of scientific theories such as the Chaos Theory and Quantum Physics, she is reaching out to thousands of people from all walks of life in an effort to bring out the best in each person.

UToL goes beyond motivation and self development. It reveals the real person within the biological infrastructure that connects one to the Universe.