Remember that the beautiful butterfly was once a cocoon. There is hope as long as there is life <3.

"Being strong is also coming to terms that life is not easy, we may not always be happy and we should let it out for our own well being." Don't hold onto anything because you are scared of the future ... if it is not working for you there is a reason for this! Sometimes suffering means that the pot of gold (something very good) after the rainbow will come your way. Never take anything that you have for granted! Take care of it and love it. Anything can be snatched from you in a minute. When we feel sad or think, "Why don't I have this or that?" Or, "Why am I alone?" Always think there is someone worse than you ... and your time will come to be happy, with patience. When you feel you are not accomplishing anything in life or time is passing, always know that you have touched someone's life!!! That, in its own, is a blessing! A full life to me consists of being at peace, being loved the same way you love them, having health, having a roof over my head, having food to eat, helping others ... and the rest are just perks.

The older I am getting the wiser and more patient I am becoming. One thing I do know is: nothing lasts forever -- good or bad things -- so live the moment. And if you feel sad, look for someone to talk to ... a friend, counselor, significant other ... get it out!!! It is not of the strong to keep things in. It takes more strength to show yourself vulnerable!! Just trust!

Do not keep up appearances that you are so happy if you're not! This can leave you more empty and sad! I know no one wants to fail, but this is a part of life! The good thing is that after the failure, who knows what wonderful thing is just there waiting for you. Sometimes people tell me: "Wow, Maria, I wish I was as strong and happy as you are!" The thing is, in my own wanting to help others, I feel like I am letting them down when I show my weak and sad days. We all have them and I am not happy everyday (I am human). It's OK to feel unhappy sometimes!! The good thing is what do you do with those feelings? Try to get busy and speak out as I said before!

We are always looking for something or someone else to make us happy when in reality, happiness comes from within and a person just compliments us (if they are the right one). Do NOT settle for anyone just to feel like you are NOT alone. Look for that inner peace and strength from what I call "my higher being." Meditate, help others, write what you feel and know it does get better.

I really believe that we are all connected in this life for something bigger than us and it isn't until we open up our heart and soul that we will understand that even from a bad event in our life, we evolve and grow! We spiritually grow and get wiser.

I remember my mother and grandmother telling me, "life is NOT easy," and I agree so much!! But, also life is what we make it! Let's make it the best life we can have with what we have. I know we cry and we suffer or we feel frustrated many times. This is all normal for anyone! Positive or Negative. It's OK to cry, to get angry, to feel sad ... everything we are feeling! Feeling is a sign that we are alive!

I also never try to copy someone's life because I think that is the mold to follow! Make your own mold. Sometimes those whom we want to be like live the most miserable lives.

Learn to forgive (even if we do not continue a relationship with them).

Learn to love without expecting something is return (sometimes when we expect we are let down).

Give yourself (with precaution, but lovingly).

Learn that expressing yourself or even shedding a tear is not a weakness. <3

... and the most important things that I am learning is to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. <3

I want to leave you all with something special and has much wisdom:

The Butterfly

A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.

If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

Not only that, we could never fly.

Much love and light.