Thank God for Horrifying Experiences

Written By Lawrence J. Clark, PhD

Overcome your fear of the dentist with gratitudeYesterday I had one of the most horrifying experiences of my life; as someone with a Powerful Choleric personality type, one of the worst situations I can be in is one in which 1) I have no control, and 2) someone else is in charge.

Yes, you guessed it; I spent two and a half hours in a dentist chair getting a filling replaced and having two molars drilled and sanded down to be fitted for crowns.

“Oh, what’s the big deal?” I hear you asking.  Lots of people go through this procedure, or worse, and come out still breathing on the other end.  Correct.  But they are not me.

And besides my fear of choking to death on a glob of glue or a broken filling or tooth, or my head exploding from my extremely elevated blood pressure, there is the fact that I’m being held down by two people I hardly know, am wearing dark glasses that I can barely see through, am breathing some odd mixture of chemicals through a plastic gas mask, and can hear but cannot see the foot-long drill that is screaming louder than a jet-ski racing across Galveston Bay.

It was at this point that I became extremely grateful for my wife, Kristen and the gratitude concept she teaches, which is that no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, there is always something for which we can be grateful.

While I was sitting (or should I say strapped) in the chair, I decided try out her idea.  Here’s what I came up with:

Thank God  . . . I have dental insurance that covers a good portion of this expensive procedure.

Thank God  . . . I have enough money in the bank to cover the co-pay amount.

Thank God  . . . I have one of the best dentists in Houston (Dr. Lawrence Holland) who, besides having a really cool first name, has over 30 years’ experience, does great work, and runs a sanitary office staffed with friendly people.

Thank God  . . . for Margaret, the extremely patient, competent, and compassionate dental technician who helped me through the procedure with her encouraging words, calm spirit, and generous “happy hour” helpings of nitrous oxide.

Thank God  . . . that she finally turned off the 70s disco music and put on the XM Radio Contemporary Christian station, which happened to be playing a song written from God’s point of view, telling the listeners to relax and let Him love and comfort us.  Those were the perfect words for me to hear just then.

And finally . . . Thank God  . . . that I have a wife who does her homework and writes such practical, useful, and encouraging books and articles that can help people (including me) even when she is not physically there!


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Favorite Quote

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” John Milton

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For inquiries and questions, please email me or call me at 281-795-8890. is owned and operated by Kristen Clark and The Communication Leader located at 1702-B Grant Rd., Suite 411, Cypress, TX 77429; (713) 396-3393.