One of the stories in Greek Mythology tells us that it was prophesied that the mythic character Achilles would die young. In order to counteract this prediction, his mother Thetis took him to the waters of the River Stiyx that had the powers of invulnerability. She held her baby, Achilles by the ankle and dipped his whole body into the sacred waters. However, because she was holding him by his foot, his heel was not immersed. Later on in life, an enemy who knew his secret, shot a poisonous arrow purposefully into his heel, wounding and killing the otherwise immortal being. Metaphorically speaking, the term Achilles Heel has come to be synonymous with vulnerability.
The other night when I was watching an episode of one of my favorite T.V. shows, one character asked the other what she thought his weak point was. In a very clever way she was able to point his weakness out by tricking him into exposing it to himself. I got to thinking about this and I had a moment of wondering in a new way what my Achilles Heel was.
Perhaps we all have or have had one – that one thing that if we could release it, we know that we would be invincible. Let me give you an example, a famous musician (Beck) wrote, “I wish I had more confidence. I think that’s probably my Achilles’ heel. If I had more, I probably would have felt emboldened to really go for it in an artistic or songwriting sense.
Our Achilles Heel is birthed somewhere in our past. Isn’t it interesting that it was Achilles mother who in her attempt to save her child, crippled him at the same time. How many times do we blame our parents for our own Achilles Heel. “If my parents had just did this…or if they’d been like this…I’d be more…”
I believe my parents were doing the best they could with what they knew. I don’t think they were trying to cripple me with some of the things they put into my head. I really think they were trying to assist.
I don’t look at my Achilles Heel as a curse. I think it is a blessing and a path in my spiritual evolution. I think that when I uncover those things which hold me back and overcome them, I grow into more and more of my true self. I do not want to bury my Achilles Heel. I think it is the gift that I came to earth to discover and release. I even think I chose my own parents, and all the people who play the parts in my play to make sure I really got just how spectacular I am.
What’s your Achilles Heel? You’ll know because it’s that thing that stops you just when you are about to do something really great. Most of the time, in fact nearly all the time, I think our Achilles heel can be boiled down to one thing – FEAR. Fear of being successful, fear of losing love, fear of being deserted, fear of not being able to take care of ourselves, fear of not being enough, fear of a million different things.
The Truth is there is nothing to fear. I know I have a powerful ally and if I’ll just release her and let her fly, I am invincible. My Achilles Heel will both expose her and allow me to reveal her.
I must forgive my mother, my father or anyone else who I think forgot to dip that one part of me into the waters of invulnerability, who forgot to let me know how magnificent I am. That wasn’t their job really. I am in charge of my destiny and my Achilles Heel only has the power that I give to it. Perhaps if Achilles himself had discovered his vulnerable heel early on he would have gone back to that river and waded in. He didn’t, and he paid the price. We can choose differently.