I was watching an old Grey’s Anatomy episode the other day while wrapping Christmas presents. It was the episode where Meredith says to Derek, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” For fellow Grey’s fans, I’m sure you remember the line well. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Meredith was asking Derek to choose her over his wife – to love her first, before anyone else. Their story is much deeper than what that line portrays but that’s not the point. The point is when I heard that line on my TV, I had an instant reaction, which caused me to look up from my wrapping paper and utter “Ugh. Just stop Meredith.” I then found myself talking to the TV: “Why don’t YOU choose YOU. Pick yourself. Love yourself. Then what he does is irrelevant.” It’s not like me to react so strongly to something on Grey’s Anatomy, especially to an episode I’ve seen at least twice before and never once had a reaction to, but this time I did.
I assumed my reaction was coming from my past year of internal work to finally be the one who chose myself first and over needing anyone else to choose me. This wasn’t about my marriage or a relationship with anyone else. It was about my relationship with me, about me choosing to love myself and honor myself, and my needs and desires without worrying about what anyone else thinks. This may sound selfish and in some ways it might be. Yet, I’ve spent the past 18 months trying to reach a place where I believed that who I am, outside of anyone else’s approval and love, is enough. It’s more than enough. At the end of the day it’s all there is and all that matters. Without my approval and love of myself, I truly have nothing genuine to give anyone else. Selfish? I don’t think so.
After my Dad left our family when I was at the young vulnerable age of 12 I spent my entire life seeking his approval. It was unconscious behavior. And it was normal. I ignored what I wanted to do with my life and defaulted to what he thought was best. I spent years dishonoring myself because of what I thought would please him. Totally dysfunctional, yes, I know. And yet I was completely unaware of it until he passed away. It was weird place to be… realizing that I had not honored my authenticity because of an unconscious desire to please my Dad and, suddenly he was gone and although I was devastated he was gone, I realized a new found freedom- I was free to be me. I recognized I had not been me for the past 30 years. It was a strange place to be. The range of emotions around all that was vast and painful. And it paved the way for the ”work” I’ve done this past year- to get back in touch with who I am at my core, and honor her. To choose her, to love her regardless of what my dad might have thought when he was alive or what anyone else thinks who is in my life today.
We are all here to be the best versions of ourselves that God created us to be. We cannot do that unless we choose ourselves first, unless we love ourselves first and foremost before anyone else does and regardless of whether anyone else agrees. When we do that, we show up as the best version of ourselves with everyone else and in everything we do. When doing that, it doesn’t matter what anyone else chooses. What is aligned with your authenticity will show up and remain. What is not aligned will go away or never show up. And that’s okay. There’s no need to ask anyone or anything to pick you, choose you, or love you. As long as you’re doing it for yourself first, everything aligns – just as it should.
That’s why I had the strong reaction Meredith Grey’s line in the old Grey’s Anatomy episode the other day. Some diehard fans might disagree but I believe that had Meredith already chosen herself and loved herself, Derek’s choice wouldn’t have mattered. She would have stood in her own truth knowing that Derek would choose her if it was aligned with that truth. She wouldn’t have needed to plead with him or ask him to choose and love her. Standing in her own truth would have given her the confidence and knowing that his choice would be exactly what was best, whether he chose her or not.
As you move into the New Year, choose yourself first. Pick you. Love you. You won’t be disappointed and neither will any of your loved ones. When you choose yourself and love yourself first, and when you honor your needs, desires, and truth, you automatically become the most wonderful version of who you are meant to be for all the people, places, and things in your life. What a wonderful way to begin a New Year.