By Denise Webster
I really try to look at situations in my life and apply the Law of Relativity. The definition of this law states: “Your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to something else.” This law works well in emotional situations because you can try to look at it without any emotion, then compare it to something worse than what you are experiencing. It gives you instant gratitude for the good in your situation. A recent experience I had really taught me the power of the Law of Relativity. I was in charge of a Girls Camp in my church. It is a 4 day camp with young women ages 12-18. There are several other groups of young women there at the same time. We participate in large combined activities, but eat and sleep in our individual groups. I had a very diverse group of young women this year. Some were from very wealthy families and some from struggling families. There were a few girls whose parents were divorced; another had a mother who was recently killed in an accident. However, the daughter hadn’t lived with her mom since age 2 due to her mother’s drug problems. One young lady from a wealthy home was struggling with anorexia. Another young lady was living with her dad and siblings in her Grandmother’s home. Her aunt and uncle and their children live there, too. There’s a lot of yelling in that home. She was a little “challenged,” and couldn’t read past an early elementary level. There were a lot of girls with difficult struggles.
At the beginning of camp, the girls were in their “groups” or “cliques.” The first day or two, some of the girls were struggling with image problems. They didn’t feel like they fit in. They wanted to be friends with “so and so.” They were too tall or too short. Their hair was too curly or too straight. They didn’t dance or play sports, etc, etc. We leaders would hear of their struggles and wonder how to help them see their beauty within and know that they were Daughters of God-unique and beautiful. At one point, I wished I could sit them down one by one and say, “look at so and so. Did you know she struggles with this?” Well, you can’t do that because of confidences, but it really was about the Law of Relativity. We had a couple of activities where we as leaders were able to talk to them about their individual worth and divine nature.
On a Friday night, a wonderful miracle took place. On Friday nights, we have a special “testimony meeting” where the girls can share what is in their hearts. This night they truly opened up. Almost every girl told a little about her life and personal experiences. Some of the stories were heart wrenching. I was amazed at the strength of these young women who were overcoming such difficulties and were carrying such heavy burdens in their young lives. But that was the miracle….as they told about their struggles, the Law of Relativity became apparent. Those listening realized that their own problems were minuscule and small by comparison. They put aside their own difficulties and reached out to those who struggled so much. They gained a greater appreciation for others. It was a powerful night for me. One I will never forget. I witnessed the power of the Law of Relativity at its fullest-your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it with something else.
In every situation of our life, we are comparing. If we are feeling like our home isn’t as nice as we want, it is because we are comparing it to a home that is bigger or more lavish than ours; but if we think about those in third world countries who live in a cardboard box on the street, we instantly become the “rich” ones. It also applies to people, not just “things.” One day I was complaining in my mind about my husband. I walked past the TV where someone had left a daytime talk show on. The ladies on the program were saying how they wished their husbands loved them and their children, how they wished for them to be around, etc. The more they talked, the more I realized that they wanted what I had. As imperfect as I thought he was previous to this, I realized that he was such a good husband and father. Things changed instantly for me. Our relationship changed from that point on and has improved ever since. All it took was for me to change my thinking and apply the Law of Relativity.
No matter the struggle you are going through, you can always find the good or positive side. Apply the Law of Relativity and you will feel better and more blessed.