Tag. You’re It.
I turned on the Golden Globes last Sunday just as Jeff Bridges was giving his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”, compliments of the Hollywood Foreign Press.
Truth be told, I was only interested in a quick glimpse of who was wearing what. It was past my bedtime and I missed the red carpet stuff earlier that night.
But what I got was so much better than eye candy. The Dude was serving up a sermon chock full of soul candy.
Bridges talked about his first role in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot directed by Michael Cimino. The young actor recounted how he panicked the day before shooting. He asked for a meeting with Cimino and declared himself unworthy of the role. “Mike, I’m sorry, but I think you made a terrible mistake. I’m not feeling this guy at all. Please fire me.” Bridges begged.
Cimnio responded with a question. “Jeff, you know the game tag?” “Yeah,” Bridges answered. “You’re it.” He said. “I’m it?” Bridges questioned. “You’re the guy. You couldn’t make a mistake if you wanted to. The life of this character is coming through you. It’s a done deal.” The director declared.
Bridges smiled as he reflected back on how much that vote of confidence meant to him, and how he used it to push through his fear, tackling that role and every role that followed. He also said it was a wonderful way to do life. Then he handed the audience that same gift.
“I guess we’ve all been tagged. You’re all it!”
Well, I guess we are.
After I did the slow clap, I excitedly turned to my husband and barked, “Tag. You’re it!” He looked at me like my head had just morphed into a lollipop. (Read “sucker”.) He’s not super into the woo woo jazz. Undeterred, I announced that I had been tagged to nurture and entertain. He rolled his eyes. I kept going. “Hold on. I’m getting more. I have also been tagged to lead and heal.” He changed the channel. Emboldened by my newfound clarity, I marched in place as I proclaimed my four callings. “Nurture. Entertain. Lead. Heal!” (You don’t need anyone’s approval to accept your mission, or your obnoxious way of communicating it.)
But why did my mission come in two, separate, ethereal telegrams?
I think it’s because I had already accepted the first mission, (nurture and entertain). That’s been my M.O. for years. The second mission (lead and heal), I aspire to, which is probably why it didn’t immediately come to mind, because when we haven’t yet accomplished something, we tend to think we can’t declare ourselves that thing.
Oh, but we can. Because if we think, even for a split second, that something might be for us, we’ve been tagged. Some describe it as God whispering in our ear. Author Steven Pressfield calls it, “The Muse”, and Dr. Joe Dispenza paints the picture of us “riding on the back of a giant, and all we have to do is learn to whisper in its ear.”
Young Jeff Bridges whispered and landed the role of Lightfoot, then he freaked out and forgot whose idea it was in the first place. His own.
Luckily for him, Cimino helped him remember, and “the life of the character came through him.” Just like the life of the character you were put on earth to play comes through you. But you have to be willing to play tag.
Here’s how. Get quiet. Listen. Feel. Hear. Accept. Act.
You’ll be glad you did. Then you can tag others. Just like Jeff Bridges did. Because that’s how tag works. And now that I have been tagged, I’m coming for you.
May the life of the character come through you.
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