I call myself pet names a lot: dear, sweetheart, beautiful.
It's become a sort of habit, as I sweet-talk myself into getting out of bed in the morning, into going to bed at night, into going for my daily jog-walk, into performing monologues in front of a camera and bravely sending the result to a theatre company as part of my audition for a part in a play. Did I mention I'm auditioning for a part in a play? I want it more than I've wanted anything in like, at least two weeks. The character I'm hoping to play is a devout, pious sort--okay, saintly. My Mom says I have a knack for playing that sort of thing without coming across as cheesy and overdone, and honestly, editing the videos, I was surprised at how saintly I managed to appear. Maybe it's God's way of showing me the person I could be, if I were, you know, a saint.
Of course, as providence would have it, I got so caught up in the technicalities of editing, formatting and sending off the audition package that I forgot to take my meds that night, with the result that the next day, I was anything but saintly. Not a sweetheart at all. More like what certain of my siblings, in their younger years, would have descriptively referred to as a butt.
I once came across one of those square tiles containing pithy witticisms in different sized fonts which read:
"I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT, I WOULD SAY MY HEART BUT MY BUTT IS BIGGER."
I'm not sure the comparison holds true in my case, having been teased for years over my relative lack of hiney; however, I am a butt more often than I am a sweetheart.
My Mom still calls me sweetheart though.
So do I.
I think it has less to do with clinging desperately to those moments when I am a sweetheart or a saint (although there probably is some kind of desperate clinging involved) and more to do with the fact that I have to practice on myself, if I am to love and forgive other people when they're being butts. Or that as they say, charity begins at home. Or as C. S. Lewis's Screwtape once put it, "all mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be."
That's pretty powerful, actually.
So yeah, that part? I think I'll start practicing now.