The Raw Hell of Vulnerable Honesty

Forgiveness is an empty word if you can't apply it to your own life.

by Dori Hartley
Dori Hartley
Dori Hartley

And all these people love you, and compliment you. They tell you that you were the one they all loved once, that they all envied you your courage and nerve — that you were the most talented person back then and still are now, that your words move them to tears, that you never deserved to be treated badly, that anyone who could turn his back on you is a fool, they know in their heart that if anyone can rise to the top — it’s you.

And you sit. And you allow all this love and respect to reverberate in your mind and in your soul, and the trillion little affirmations bounce around, trying to stick, trying to manifest into one solid feeling, something real, something less abstract and more substantial.

But if you are like me, all you can say is, “If everybody loves me so much, then why is there no one here to love me?”

And you say it alone and if you’re lonely enough, you say it in an Irish accent.

“Then let me build a bridge, for I cannot fill the chasm,
And let me set the battlements on fire.”

– Sting  

Dori Hartey is an author, essayist and freelance writer living in Florida. Her novel, "Angels and Echos," is available at

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First Published October 24, 2011

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