Positive anything is better than negative nothing. – Elbert Hubbard
In my mind, positivity is a broad term. It could be simply knowing that everything will work out. I prefer to think of it as a form of faith. A lack of doubt, if you will.
My Granny told me, “the Devil is doubt.” 25 years later I believe that with all of my heart. That belief helped define my life’s vision – to help others.
Fragile as Glass
When I was a kid growing up in Atlanta, life was but a dream. When I got older, bad stuff started happening.
I wrote a song about this called “Glass.” You know, it’s fragile. My uncle said at my Dad’s funeral, “Until now life just seemed plastic.” He had lost his Mom four years prior. In 1998 my life went to Hell.
My Dad passed away from a heart attack at 56, my wife at the time was seriously ill, and became brain-injured. My son, Mark, almost died from a brain abscess and I went bankrupt and through a divorce.
My new dental practice flooded, my new car was totaled in a hurricane and my Granny fell and also became brain injured. It was ALMOST too much to bear.
My Mom calls moments like this, tongue-in-cheek of course, “Life’s little treasures.” And let’s not forget “God never gives you more than you can handle.”
Those oversimplifications trigger me sometimes. Over time though, I realized they are really just condensed pearls of knowledge. They are abbreviated truths that have to be experienced to be understood.
Walking through Hell and stepping out is a process, a journey. I, and millions of others, call it Recovery.
Remaining positive is really an exercise in faith for me. I sculpt my life experience as if it were an ongoing musical composition. I can add any chords, fills, hooks, bridges, or melodies I see fit.
The faith is, basically, a lack of doubt in the greater GOOD of my existence and positivity can be the driving force for creating a wonderful life.
I have a rich and amazing life. Of course, sometimes the “little treasures” show themselves.
Grounded in Faith
Today, I am a dentist with a great practice in rural North Carolina, I have five wonderful kids, I am a musician and have been able to work with some legendary Rock musicians, I have a beautiful fiancée who shares my values, and I am grounded in my faith.
I work on balancing and nurturing my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health by giving those parts attention to support my life vision.
It’s not about perfection or denial for me. I see it as gratitude. I don’t take anything for granted, especially my life. I know it’s tenuous.
I try to work hard, work out, eat right, pray, meditate, go to counseling, read, write, play music, and maintain continual contact with my loved ones. My life’s purpose is being a healer and to reach others in pain.
That is the directed vision of my life as a dentist and as a musician. The 12th step in a 12-step program is essentially to be there for others when they are in need. That’s how I keep moving forward, maintain faith, and stay positive.
So to me, positivity is just knowing that my purpose is being realized, one day at a time.