Why You Chose Your Parents

By Anthony Gold

Yes, you really did.

The first response that people often have when hearing that they chose their parents – not the other way around – is this:


Usually with some expletive thrown in there.

The second response is inevitably, “WHY?”

It seems to make no sense. But let’s back up a bit and look at the bigger picture.

We wrote the entire script – not just our parents, but everything we experience in life. Just like when we dream at night – we wrote the script of our dreams. While we are sleeping, we don’t recall that it is “our” dream (unless we are lucid dreaming). Instead, it feels like we are a figure (often the hero figure) who wanders “idly in and out of places and events that it contrives.”

The other night I had a dream that I was being attacked. It was scary, and I woke up trembling. But once awake, I realized it was just a dream. Inside the dream it felt very real – so much so that it had a physiologic effect on my body (sweating, trembling, increased adrenaline, etc.).

If I had subsequently met the attacker in my waking state, it would be silly for me to say to that person, “Hey, why did you assault me the other night?” They would look at me as if I was crazy. The fact of the matter is that it was my dream, and I made the whole thing up.

Likewise, in our “awakened” state, this feels like reality. It seems like we are the “hero” of our lives who, once again, wanders idly in and out of places and events. It seems like some people are nice to us and others attack us. And not only does it seem very real, but everything around us convinces us that it is so – such as friends who corroborate our story and seemingly empathize with our pain.

But just like the dream at night, we made it all up.

So, extending the question, “Why did I choose my parents?” we can ponder, “Why did I set this whole thing up?”

And the answer is to learn the lessons we haven’t yet learned. What lessons are those?

Anything that upsets us in any way.

Think about this, if you could be upset by anything, you are essentially saying:

  • This situation is bad
  • It is causing me pain
  • And it isn’t my fault

Or, a variant of that judgment is “this situation is bad … and it is my fault.”

Whatever way the game of [judgment] is played, there must be loss. (T-26.X.4)

All of our suffering comes from the belief in the ego – nothing else. The world teaches us the exact opposite: the source of our suffering is from something in the world or my body.

So, in every experience in which we suffer, we further convince ourselves that this is real – thereby reinforcing the ego belief.

It’s not until we can look at each situation through the eyes of love and see that there is no attack, simply a crying out for love.

And we will keep having those experiences until we can finally let go the source of suffering to which we so stubbornly cling – the ego.

Thus coming back to the question of why we chose our parents – it was to experience exactly those lessons of forgiveness, which will present themselves over and over to us until we are finally ready to make a different choice and escape all pain that our prior choices brought us.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of choosing our parents, and what those lessons can teach us about experiencing a joy-filled life. I look forward to seeing you then.

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