There are junctures in life when we encounter hardship in that journey. Sometimes the causes are from the outside world, sometimes from within us.  Hardship comes in many forms.  Our relationship with the outside world, with relationships, and within our own center are key factors. 
In the I Ching, hexagram 39 is called “Hardship”, and these are words of guidance from that text which I share with you today:

If one loves others,

and they do not respond in the same way, 

one should turn inward and examine one’s own love.

If one treats others politely,

and they do not return politeness,

one should turn inward and examine one’s own politeness.

When one does not realize what one desires,

one must turn inward and examine oneself in every point.

Hexagram 39:  Mencius resonating with Confuscious
The Complete I Ching:  A  Definitive Translation
Posted:  July 16, 2020
Rev. Mary Ann Tourjee


In Elementary School,
We were taught:
Sticks and Stones
May Break Your Bones, 
Words Will Never Hurt You.
And even then, I knew Those Words were not true.
Teaches us —
If we have the Ears to Hear, the Eyes to See, and the Wisdom to Know.
When I was 14 years old,
I saw the pain on my mother’s face,
I Knew Something Was Wrong . . . 
I Heard the Words, 
“Your Father is Dead.”
When I was in 11th Grade,
We were told to write a Haiku.
I wrote:
The Words Fell Harshly,
Like Bombs on a Battlefield,
Crushing Hopes Within.
We shared our Haiku Writings in Class.
My Teacher responded to mine with alarm, 
with disbelief I could write words like that!
I could not understand his disbelief in their validity.
Today we live in a time when Words are being tossed around,
And Many of Those Words Hurt.
They Hurt for Many Reasons.
Go Gently into Your Days.
Hold Words Accountable.
Truth is Important.
 Words Can Break the Heart.
Words Can Destroy the Ability to Believe.
Words Can Uplift!
Words Can Be Beautiful!
Words Can Be Kind!
Words Need To Hold Truth.
Think Before You Speak.
Know the Power of Words.
Posted:  April 28, 2020
Rev. Mary Ann Tourjee