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Embrace Your Vulnerability

By Jessica Fragnoli

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding vulnerability is that is should be avoided at all costs as it tends to carry quite a negative connotation. However, once we begin to look deeper at the unpredictable journey of life and start becoming honest with ourselves, we are able to change our perspective on what being vulnerable really means. The dictionary definition of vulnerable is “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm” stemming from the ancient Latin word vulnerare meaning ‘to wound.’ We all face positions of difficulty, fear, anger, jealousy or other innate emotions we encounter in the day to day expedition of a life that is far from predictable nor foreseeable. By denying those natural emotions or being overcome by them, the result is only our own disempowerment. If we choose to revoke our control of how we respond to the situation and give ourselves up to the “physical or emotional harm” of being vulnerable, we let the adversity control our position and ultimately, take away our potential to master our own lives.

So how? How do you become the master of your own life and your vulnerability? What exactly does it take to be willing to be in a vulnerable position and change that “harm” to empowerment and acceptance? By giving yourself the permission to acknowledge and accept these feelings of “weakness,” we can then truly understand how to grow and change ourselves into the warriors and champions of this complex expedition that we call life. The first step is becoming aware that being wounded is an inevitable part of living. These points of fragility can truly give us the opportunity to build strength to climb out if we address the inescapability of them and reach beyond to the deepest and strongest parts of us to overcome vulnerability instead of succumb to it. Second, you must question what this test of life is asking of you and how an experience like this can provide you with an opportunity to learn. You don’t just wake up one day with all the strength and courage to tackle the world, but instead you learn through overcoming your most sensitive positions.

Being willing to be fully alive is being willing to change that deep, dark vulnerability to a sense of healthy emotional agility and powerful self-efficacy. It is true that woven into the fabric of our experience comes desperation, devastation, loss, failure, and illness, but the honesty we can face these situations with, can change our whole perspective on that one single world; vulnerability. The opening of our hearts and minds and the readiness to change trials and tribulations into contentment and prosperous moments can lead us to taking steps towards the authenticity where growth and change really originate. Next time you are faced with a misfortune, big or small, try to tackle the situation head on; address your thoughts and feelings, write them down if you want, say them out loud in a mirror; ask what this is testing of your strength and have faith that you are the person who can change weakness and unsettled feelings to development and progress. Vulnerability comes with a new definition now… “finding it within oneself to accept positions of susceptibility as precious moments that teach physical and emotional strength.”

Jessica Fragnoli is a current

Exploring Selfoss in Iceland

University of New Hampshire student majoring in Sociology with an expected graduation of May 2019. She is an avid world traveler who strives to broaden her knowledge about the differing dimensions of cultures, classes, and races. Much of her schooling and travels have laid the foundation for her passion for writing and photography. When she isn’t plugging away at schoolwork or jumping on her next flight, you can find her snuggled up with a good book in the company of her family, planning out her next hiking route with her friends or diving into her ongoing yoga practice. Jess hopes to stay in the New England area after graduation and is seeking an employment opportunity that incorporates a leadership position and the facilitation of positive change in others’ lives.

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