The point of Achilles’ heel


When I teach or consult on scripts and stories I often talk about character flaws and the character’s weaknesses. The weakness or flaw is often in dramaturgy named the Achilles’ heel. The specific weakness is also what the antagonist (the force against our hero) uses to stop the protagonist or hero from achieving the goal. The thing is, the only way for the protagonist or hero to achieve his or her goal is through confronting the fear/weakness and taking a leap of faith. If the hero chooses to take that leap fully she will make it. But if she doesn’t commit fully, she is certain to fail. If she fails she turns into her worst nightmare. The way the protagonist chooses to act in the end of the movie is what separates a good ending from a tragedy.

This Friday I was confronted with one of my major fears, and someone highlighted my Achilles’ heel. It wasn’t at all an evil act or meant to hurt, it was someone who cared about me and wanted the best for me. But when this person focused on my vulnerabilities instead of my strengths, I realized that the wound I once got still gets ripped open. I just put a band-aid on it from time to time.

Strangely I have thought I am fine, and in essence I am. I have never been happier, both in my personal and professional life. But weirdly enough I thought I was done with the past and that the wound had healed. This Friday I realized, I never will be done with it, that my Achilles’ heel will always be there, and that my job is to take a brave leap of faith every time the wound shows or cracks.

By not letting our limitations, weaknesses, vulnerabilities or fears stand in our way, but instead welcome them as part of our every day being, we can live fully and happy most of the time. And when the wounds are ripped open it is up to us to choose to take that leap of faith in order to heal it again. It’s all about Accepting, just like the whole month of April has been. It’s been about seeing the messages that is hidden in the situations we encounter. It’s been a true blessing to look at life through this theme, because what has happened is that I fight less (with myself and others) and accept and learn from the situations quicker. And for that I’m deeply grateful.


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