My friend, a staunch Church of England goer, told me the following story about her son. Now, if it were me telling the story, you could be forgiven for thinking I was exaggerating, but my friend... well, she just thinks I'm one twist short of loopy, so coming from her, this story is all the more incredible.
Her son was five years old when, out of the blue, he told her that he had chosen her to be his mummy. She laughed and asked him what other mummies he could have chosen, expecting him to name other mothers that he knew.
"Oh, I don't remember them now, they were all over the world, not here," came the answer.
Stunned, she tried to ask him more specific questions, but he changed the conversation as unexpectedly as he had started it.
The story has stuck with me over the years. It confirms a belief I had held for a long time: no matter how we feel about our parents - and I've had some rollercoasters with mine - we chose them. From the soul perspective they are our perfect parents, because they provide us with the exact conditions we need to manifest our true potential.
For those who have had challenging childhood experiences, this can seem incomprehensible, but what the soul views as best for us, is not always what our ego thinks would be best for us. This knowledge also gives us the power to shift from passive victims to active participants in our own lives - however challenging they may be - encouraging us to accept the past and value the strength, wisdom and compassion it has enabled us to develop.