2/5/09

Achilles Heal

Achilles, a mythical Greek hero, was considered to be a god amongst mortals. Fast, strong, and handsome are words that come to mind when we think of him. Of course, the fact that Brad Pitt played Achilles in the movie Troy is no deterrent in our thinking that Achilles was someone that everyone wanted to be. Achilles flaw though, wasn’t a lack of armor; it was his and our in-ability to see him as a god and not as an equal. If I had fought alongside Achilles, I would have looked at his success and would have wanted to be him. Be his best friend, wear the same sandals…no less they were Italian leather, and do all of the same things that Achilles did. I would leach on to him and if I couldn’t permanently attach myself to him, I would do everything I could to get noticed. Creating opportunities to get noticed, secretly wishing and desiring that I would gain celebrity status in Achilles’ eyes through hard work or by devising ways to somehow “arrive” into his inner-circle of comrades. Unlike a Trojan fighter though I did not live centuries ago, but for several years, I struggled with some of these very same concepts. It’s the problem that many of us face in our own desire for fame and fortune. Instead of being who we were made to be, we try to be someone we’re not. Not all of us were meant be Achilles and not all of us can be Achilles. When we realize that we need to be who we are meant to be, is when we create an Achilles like mantra around ourselves. We aren’t dependant upon others for security and we’re not leaving adoring, fanatical or conversational opening comments on people’s Facebook pages. The Achilles heal for all of us is the fact that all leaders are imperfect. We can’t hang out with the right people, or get noticed by the right person, or wear the right Italian leather sandals…we’re a mess just as much as the next guy, leader, or Achilles. When we create an unhealthy and unrealistic perception of our leaders/heroes we are ultimately setting ourselves up for failure. We may avoid eye contact, stutter, or just be completely dumb founded in the presence of certain people. The truth though is that they put on their pants one leg at a time, just like the rest of us…they have flaws too. When we only see the perfect without the imperfect we ourselves are to blame because we set ourselves up for failure. When the truth comes out, we act in disbelief, “that can’t be true!” The truth hurts and the real truth is that our constant attainment for perfection can only come from the only perfect person, Christ. Whether we like it or not we are a complete mess, no-one is near perfection and no-one has it all together. Are we shocked by the famous having struggles when we ourselves struggle with the same things that the people we admire and adore struggle with!?! I’m no longer shocked or consumed with the failures of leaders or the famous. I’ve come to realize that just like me they all have imperfections and struggles. There is no attainment level and there is no feeling of, “I’ve finally arrived.” We all have Achilles’ heals…so what’s yours?

2 comments:

TRP said...

This was a nice read...hmmm Achilles Heel..Do we have to have one? Coz i can see a long list of things in my head.. :-)

Justin Steinhart said...

Hey TRP, thanks for the comment. I think we all do, and like you said, some of us have a long list! It's been my experience though that when we recognize those Achilles Heals in our life whether they be people or weaknesses like food or alcohol, the important thing is that we recognize them and then find ways to daily wage war on the thought processes and habits that help to create a weakness in our life.