Opposition by Law

By Dawn Norton

  • “Opposites attract”
  • “For it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:2)
  • “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”
  • Polar opposites

The world is filled with opposing forces and opposition is part of life. Not only is it part of life, but in the case of equal and opposite reactions, it is divine law.

The Law of Polarity governs everything in the world on a continuum. It gives us the opportunity to really know, discover, and experience all that there is. We can’t REALLY know anything without experiencing its opposite. How do you know it is light? You can see light or the sun with your eyes. But what quality makes it so? It is the knowledge of darkness or the absence of light.

Likewise, if we’ve never experienced sadness, how do we really recognize happiness? Babies are an excellent example of emotional opposites. Happy and laughing one moment, and crying their little eyes out the next. There are thousands of examples of the contrasts that help us understand what things really mean. Quiet versus noise. Evil and good. Hunger and fullness. Up and down, left and right, fast and slow, hot and cold, and on and on.

In my own life, until I was 19, I experienced many happy and sad moments generally, as every human does. Perhaps I even had some sadder and happier moments than most. But a defining moment in my life happened, when my mother took her own life. Having grown up without her, I felt her absence, and we were in the midst of developing a relationship. I had just opened my heart to the joy of including her in my life. In those moments after I first received the news of her suicide, I experienced shock that nullified awareness of every other thing around me. I felt grief so debilitating that all physical strength was lost. I was overcome with sorrow so striking that I had no awareness of the wailing coming from within me. I felt regret so deep that it swept all logic away.

I had never experienced these feelings to that degree before.  But because of their intensity, I have come to a place in the years since where my perspective is broader and deeper.  From that experience so many years ago, I now can appreciate the treasure in what might seem to some to be commonplace.  I have the opportunity to be in the moment with no stresses or concerns, and I can look around and just see and be.

With the birth of my children, I’ve been able to embrace the intense joy of life entering the world, and fully appreciate how innocent and precious it is. SEVEN TIMES!

I have found JOY in my own motherhood and grandmotherhood and the celebration of the smallest miracles. I find great satisfaction from learning that a decision well made, can have lasting results on generations.

These realizations, demonstrate another outcome of the Law of Polarity: the equal but opposite effect. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (Alma 37:2)  By experiencing great shock, grief, sorrow, and regret, I was prepared for future peace, happiness, joy, and satisfaction. Those things did not come overnight. They came from a lot of pondering, praying, being cared for by others, and looking for the beauty in my life that remained, allowing time to heal. It came by choice.

Polarity allows us growth, if we choose to accept it. When we know the potential for all that is good, to the degree that we experience anything that might be seen as “bad,” we can actually embrace where we are at any moment. By changing focus to faith and gratitude we can see the opportunity in failure, knowing there will be success. We can know if our financial–or any other– circumstances are at the extreme in one direction, there is equal opportunity for them to move dramatically to the opposite extreme.

In the most difficult moments of life, if we recognize, choose, have faith in, and gratitude for those moments, it opens us up for the real power in the Law of Polarity; the opportunity to experience the most glorious moments of life. Without the choice, we remain stuck and unresolved, unable to move forward and become what we were meant to be.

Dawn Norton
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