By Katie V
By law the things that we focus on most are what we attract into our lives. If we don’t want to attract more things we don’t like, then we’d better choose something better to focus on. So how do we stay positive when something apparently negative is happening? The law of relativity is a perfect tool.
Let me tell you about Marshall. He chose to get his leg amputated. He didn’t choose to get his spleen removed, be intubated 9 times or have his entire abdominal cavity sliced open as a split-second decision to save his life. This is Marshall and he is my cousin. In his 17 short years he has seen more drugs, doctors and pain then I hope to see in my entire life. He was born with a birth defect that I can’t say that affected his leg and groin/buttock area. He had gotten to the point that he was living on Vicodin because it was so painful so he decided to just amputate. It is very complicated because of the nature of his leg, but no one thought this complicated. In a little over 2 months he has been outside for a total of about an hour because of his 9 surgeries and associated stays in ICU.
I hate hospitals. They are great for saving people from near death traumas, but I would never voluntarily chose to go to one. I even had a midwife-attended homebirth so that I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital. I changed my major from nursing so I wouldn’t have to be in a hospital during school and certainly not work there after school. Just having to be cooped up in the hospital would be enough to do me in. But there he is. Nurses and doctors come from all over the Mayo Clinic to meet “the Famous Marshall.” The one who says “please” and “thank you” when he is at a pain level 9-10. The one who had just gotten his breathing tube taken out from his first surgery (where they took of his right leg) when he told the doctors “you guys are my heroes, let’s go for a run.” The one who makes nurses like Nurse Josh want to come to work again after months of being so bored they would rather stay home. This is Marshall. I think that is enough. There is more, but you get it.
This is why I can’t complain.
A few days ago I was at my wit’s end because of my screaming 2-year-old. I was ready to collapse. I was tired. I was done. I picked up my mom and we headed to the beach. I was still fuming, tired and frustrated. “Why does he scream and whine? Why do I put up with it? When will it stop? When will I get a break? Why, Why, Why? When, When, When?” I pushed my double BOB down the beach and wallowed. Then Marshall came across my consciousness. Marshall. And suddenly I could see the beautiful deep green ocean, feel the sand on my feet, smell the salty air, feel the sun on my skin, hear the waves, and I just wanted to run! I got that sweet 2-year-old out of the jogger and we ran back and forth with the waves, splashing and screeching and laughing and running. I felt free and excited. I felt happy.
That is the law of relativity. Nothing is inherently good or bad, just in relation to something else. My screaming 2-year-old situation was horrible relative to a peaceful day of reading books on the beach, but it was fantastic relative to Marshall’s circumstance. The purpose of the law of relativity is to help us find gratitude and peace when we are feeling otherwise. Focus on the good and more good will come. The law of relativity can help you find good to focus on without having to change a single thing that is happening except your thoughts.