One of my New Age-type of friends was quite excited when told of my new granddaughter. “She chose you!” she exulted. You see, this friend believes that souls get to choose who they want for parents on earth, and also, apparently, who they want for grandparents.
The grandparent idea seems ridiculous to me. And the logistics for choosing parents would be a bit mind boggling. Is there a waiting list for some parents? Is there an off season, when fewer parent choices are available?
Still, the idea that souls might choose their earthly parents is intriguing. If one believes each of us has things to learn while on earth, thinking about our parents may give us clues about lessons to master.
So, just for fun, I thought about my parents and why I might have chosen them.
It wasn’t too hard to see why they were appealing: Both were quite good looking, above average in intelligence, enjoyed laughing and had great senses of humor. In addition, they both liked traveling and adventure. What’s not to like, right? I can see why a soul might say, “I want that pair!”
But perhaps my soul should have looked a little deeper, and maybe that’s the lesson this little soul needed to learn.
My mother was beautiful, but she had no interest in those who were “funny looking.” A social worker at my mother’s nursing home explained my mother “had no empathy.” It wasn’t a new development in her declining years. Her world was divided into “our kind of people” and the rejects. Her sense of humor often involved laughing at others.
Empathy and kindness might have been good qualities for a soul to look for in a parent.
My dad had a very sharp mind, was good looking, loved good food and drink, and had a great sense of humor, as I mentioned. Well, look out, soul. Did you bother to notice how irritable he was, impatient and short tempered? People are complicated, aren’t they? That sense of humor was sarcastic and belittling of others. My dad said, “The masses are asses.” Yes, he could be fun to be around, and taught the little soul to read and to play bridge. But the total package was not at all what the soul expected.
Upon evaluation, I could see I was a lot like my parents. Along with their good qualities, I had absorbed some of their less desirable traits. I decided my soul needed to learn to see past the unbeautiful and to look for the value in every person. I accepted opportunities to work with the underprivileged and homeless. It meant volunteering with the developmentally disabled. If I really did have a choice in my parents, it turned out okay, but my choice may have been based on shallow reasons. I hope I am learning the lessons I need to know.
As you think about the good and the bad in your parents, which good qualities have you copied? And which negative qualities have you been able to overcome?