Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

Q. How does being adopted fit into reincarnation theory?

A: Whether you are adopted or not, it is assumed that every aspect of the circumstances of your life and upbringing are part of the "software" your soul has selected to give you for your successful evolution and contribution this time around.

If you are adopted, your soul needed two different sets of parents to give you what would work best. Your biological parents contributed the genetic material for this life. This includes your gender, race, the strengths and weaknesses of your body, elements of your intelligence and more.

Your adoptive parents would have been chosen by your soul as the part of the team most suited to your growth when it comes to other aspects of your soul's development. These parts of your learning "software" would include things like their values, where they live, their religion, education, socio-economic status, occupations, other family members and more.

Growth doesn't mean you love everything about your genetic make-up or about the environmental influences in your life. From the soul perspective, it is all designed to give you the ease and the challenges to push you toward what you are intending to evolve in yourself.

Naturally you will take with you all the positives from your family background. It is very important and freeing to know that things we don't like in our upbringing or about our parents are not about fixing them. These are the very things that are there to push us to be the kind of person we intend to be.

For example, if you feel your parents were too conservative, then it is for you to be different from them in that way. If your parents were not affectionate enough with you, it is for you to be generous with affection in your life. If your parents were too critical, then it is for you to develop more acceptance and compassion toward others. If you feel your parents abandoned you, then your task is to not abandon people in your life.

Hopefully you can see that embracing everything in your "software," whether you were adopted or liked the experience, as material for your evolution takes you to your greatest fulfillment. Keep in mind it's not what life brings, but what you make of it that creates all the difference.