Word of the Year
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Word of 2017: Vulnerable

Word of the Year

I intended for my Word of 2017 post to go up on Monday – first Monday of the year and all that. I struggled to write it, however. While my word of 2016 – Courage – came easily to me, a word for 2017 didn’t. There was a long list that I whittled down a little more each day, until I only had three words left. I couldn’t choose between them, and so, I decided all three would be my Word of 2017.

Then I journaled Monday night.

I was writing down a few big goals for 2017, things I had thought about ahead of time and wanted to put on paper. Things become real when you put them on paper, after all. I was meandering along, making a bulleted list, when much to my surprise, I wrote:

Be vulnerable.

Just like when the word “Courage” came to me while doing laundry, I knew this, Vulnerable, was my word of 2017. It came out of the blue, whispered to me by a little voice deep within. 

The act of being Vulnerable has been on my radar for a while. I love Brené Brown’s Ted Talk on the subject, and it’s a frequent topic in both Captivating and Becoming Myself, two of my favorite books. It’s something I “know” about, but not something I always practice. Not on purpose, but because it’s just become second nature to “do it all” myself.

What does it mean to be Vulnerable?

According to Merriam-Webster, it means capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; open to attack or damage

Tell me that’s not scary as hell.

Being Vulnerable means risking being hurt. It means asking for help. It means putting your heart on the line, knowing it may not come back to you in one piece.

That unsettles me.

There was a time when I needed to be fiercely independent. I needed to work through heartbreak and figure out how to do things on my own. Being the overachiever I am, I’ve veered pretty far left into that whole independent thing.

Being vulnerable will mean risking crying myself to sleep. It will mean risking having doors slammed in my face. It will mean risking the potential that relationships will end.

It will also mean the chance to fall madly in love. To gain opportunities. To meet new people, make new friends, maybe finally publish that book I wrote. Because that’s what being vulnerable is – opening your heart to rejection, be it by a literary agent, boyfriend, or even an employer, and trusting that it will be okay in the end.

Because ultimately, everything always works out.

Here’s to being vulnerable in 2017.

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