Sunday School

Happy Sunday everyone I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday and weekend.  Well today so far has been great. Last night I got this text from this woman who I help assist Sunday school with, she told me she was out of town and asked if I could still help with the class, I assumed there would be someone with me as usual.  She then told asked me if I was comfortable teaching the class by myself.  I said of course I would but I was pretty nervous. Even though it’s usually one student, I have never lead a class on my own before but I felt it would be good for me.

Luckily the class already has a lesson plan set up, so I didn’t have to prepare anything      ( thank god!)  The one student that showed up was this kid, he’s about 14 and he has Autism.  He is really cool and just nice, he likes to draw and is easy going.  We talked about how God commands us to love each other and to love him.  We talked about treating others the way we’d like to be treated and how we have to be kind to other’s even when they aren’t kind to us.  We did an activity where I asked him about a time this week when he felt it was hard to be kind to someone, he mentioned this kid at school kept annoying him and I talked about ways that maybe he could be nicer. We then watched a video about God’s love and it was like a sign.  It was about a guy who creates a podcast with his Grandma and she talking how God expects us to love. But I thought “hey wait a minute, I just started a podcast not long ago. This can’t be a coincidence. What is God trying to tell me?”    Anyways the class was a lot of fun and it went well.  I just wanted to make a post about it.  Have a good day, friends

Dave

 

Image may contain: David Aguilera, smiling, sitting and closeup

I look at all the lonely people

Today as I was getting off work; I decided to get something to eat at the food court.  There was a lady in line next to me and I offered to have her jump in front of me; she mentioned how polite I was.  And for some reason she mentioned she had just turned 50 and I said “50! That’s young!”; which hopefully was the appropriate response. This lady was very talkative with me. I was telling her how I just started at this new job and how busy it was during the Christmas season.  And the conversation turned to the churches we went to and she mentioned the church she attended and I told her about how much I liked my church.  As I was talking with her; I could tell she was lonely.  Usually people who talk to complete strangers and start telling you about their lives are lonely; they need someone to talk to.  And I’m a very lonely person so I totally get that. I can’t tell how many strangers I have tried to start up conversations and been given the cold shoulder; it hurts.  But like her; a lot of us don’t have that outlet. And I didn’t want to be the kind of person to not respond to her. She then told me that she was with her friend because she had seizures. I said I understood because I volunteer with people who have disabilities and some of them have seizures as well; so we have to be mindful of that.  It was actually lovely conversation for me as well; I enjoyed.  Although it made me sad that there are so many lonely people out there. We parted ways but I am so glad that I may have been the one person today who listened to her;  another God moment for the books.   The lesson here is be kind to everyone you meet; you’ll never know the difference you might make in their lives.

Image may contain: food

 

 

Starting a new job

Its Thanksgiving day and I am still currently sick; I was invited to a family friend’s house but decided to stay home and rest and I also didn’t want anyone else to catch my cold.  I’m by myself; frustrated that I had to get sick the day I got a new job and right before Thanksgiving. But I wanted to take this time to write and update everyone on my new job.  So far since I have been sick;  the job has been difficult; the first day I barely slept and yesterday I could barely focus because I was sick and could barely stand up.  Most of my co-workers and managers seem very nice and helpful; giving me tips and answering any questions I had; which has been nice.  The first day I assisted a lady and she seemed very nice with me; she kindly told me how things were done and it went smoothly; I helped another gentleman and he was nice as well.  The second day was a little different; I was really struggling with my cold and the cashier I was working with was just moving way too fast for me and it was hard to keep up; I also was sort of annoyed at her attitude. I think it’s always like that; some people are really nice and easy to get along with and others are unfriendly and don’t want to help someone who just started a new job. I could just tell she was annoyed at the fact I was a little slow bagging and I could have told her I was sick but I’m not sure if that would have made a difference.  I have to say about myself that I do have learning disables; so it’s takes me a lot longer to learn a task and trying to learn a task very quickly is even more difficult.  I am learning not to show my anxiety or react when people are critical; I used to react but I am learning that really hurts me in regards to job.  I then worked with another cashier at the end of the day and my cold medication had worn out and I had none left; so I was pretty out of it. He was annoyed at my slow pace too; this doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence.  I will not give up though and continue to do the best I can.

But instead of focusing on what I can’t do; I want to focus on my gifts and abilities and what I can do well.  So I may be a little slower but I am kind to everyone around me.  I interact with customers very well; joking with them; making conversation; being polite; I think that is great customer service and an asset to the company.  Even though I am on the Autistic Spectrum; I am very good at talking with customers; they can see I am trying to be helpful and friendly; that is something I take pride in.  I also work very hard; I hustle; I come in on time and I don’t give up.   Yes, I want to the job quickly and efficiently and I realize that is what they are looking for; especially when competing with other seasonal employees but I think customer service interaction is equally as important.  If customers find that you treat them right and take an interest in them; they can overlook the fact that you haven’t quite learned the job yet. Whereas if someone is doing the job perfectly but they are not interacting with customers in a friendly manner; they might walk away disappointed because they didn’t  feel welcome.  Does that make sense?  I know that when I walk into the checkout line and the clerk is friendly with me; it makes my experience at the store a little more enjoyable.  So right now I am trying to get rest; drink plenty of fluids and hopefully have a more productive day tomorrow.   Again I hope everyone has wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and I am so grateful to be connected with all my followers and have your support; it’s really beautiful. I love you guys

Thanks for listening

Dave

A heart in the sky

A sky with heart playing a part on radiating love from above. There’s so much pain and sadness but feeling loved gives me gladness and I know I’m alright when I look up and see this sight; i might just shed a tear here; a tear of joy; I’m a boy with a big heart; a total softie; I admit as I sit and pour my heart out ; I write what I wouldn’t say out loud but I’m proud to be kindhearted today. And I guess that’s is all I have to say.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

The elephant that didn’t forget

There once was elephant by the name of Simon. Simon lived among his elephant family; a strong mother who lead the herd through the toughest of days. He had many brothers and sisters who he saw every day. But Simon was different he had spots all over him; a trunk so long; it dragged when he walked and a leg shorter than the other. And so because he was different; his family could never accept him. They mocked him as he stomped across the ground with his trunk dragging and a sunken look of sadness in his eyes overtook him. They wouldn’t let him play with them and so head to the ground ;Simon went off to spend his days alone; remembering every unkind action of his family; if elephants could have cried he would have because you see elephants never forget. One day Simon’s mother decided he was an embarrassment to the family; a spotted, short legged elephant with a trunk far long and a grumpy look on his face was of no use to the family. She said “Enough of that you’re out on your own, Simon i can longer help you”. As Simon walked away from his family for the last time; his sister Rose ran up behind him; saying “Simon if you go i’ll follow you. We are family and I love you. Its not fair that you have to leave; I know I was unkind; forgive me and let come with you”. Simon paused for a moment and said “Sister, your kindness overwhelms me ;of course you can join me. He then said “And because Im an elephant and I never forget; I will always remember this moment for the rest of my days. Thank you, sister

We’re not alone

I want to tell a story about a very special moment that I had when I was younger; it has been crossing my mind a lot lately when I think about people I’ve known in the past and why I feel so strongly about them. First let me say that when I was younger; I interacted much better with girls when I was in a large group. I always felt more comfortable with the girls; I felt they listened better and judged me less; although I was always nervous around the one’s I liked. I tried to talk to guys but I felt they never accepted me and saw me as weird; so I felt pushed aside.  I remember this was this one girl in the group of kids I was around and we really got along; I pretty much grew up with her.  She was always nice to me and I was happy to see her; I really liked talking to her; she was kind.  I felt she was the only one who truly understood me; at times when I felt others talked down to me; she never did.  When I was struggling with something; I talked to her; even when it was a girl I liked; I came to her for advice and she was really helpful.  I suffered from a lot of depression and anxiety as a kid and it was really difficult to relate to people and I was oftentimes withdrawn; I just felt lonely so I needed to know I had friends.  I recall one time she had a birthday party at the pool when I was 12 and she invited me; that meant so much to me since I didn’t have a lot of friends; I didn’t get invited to many parties and my home life was difficult at the time; just the fact that someone thought to invited made me accepted.

When my brother died; my mental health deteriorated  and my depression worsened; I completely shut down and was impossible to reach.  All I could do was talk about my brother and my depression; I think it was upsetting for a lot of people ( and understandably so) so they kept a healthy distance from me but I always found I could talk to my friend; who had pretty much become my favorite person in the group; I could tell she really cared about me and I need that so much at the time; just someone to listen; even if at times I felt uncomfortable sharing such personal feelings with her.  I will never forget we were on a retreat and I was moping about something and she pulled me aside and asked what was wrong. I told her I was feeling down and she stopped for a second and she said “I want to tell you something”.  She then told me she had depression and anxiety just like me. I was floored; it was a surreal and powerful moment. I had put all the people in the group on a pedastol; thinking I was the only one suffering from it and it made me feel so alone. And here was my friend telling me she had depression; I realized I wasn’t alone.  I just listened to her and tried to show her empathy; this was a conversation I wasn’t prepared for.  I think that moment created a strong bond between us and I then realized how blessed how I was to have this friend in my life; it was such a kind gesture. But I was also confused. Everyone I had met at that time who had depression and anxiety ( therapy groups, treatment centers) had obvious issues; they were out of control or visibly sad all the time, kids that were outcasts.  And here was this girl who was very likable had no problems making friend and was normal in every other respect and yet she struggled with mental health just like me; it was hard to believe.  It took a lot of courage to share that with me;  I was about 17 at the time and she was 15; so we were still young and teenagers. But I will never forget that day.

Now we have grown up; she now has a family of her own.  She lives  far away from here but we still communicate online and she still is as supportive as ever; she is really sweet.  I found myself messaging her (just like I did when were kids) when I was struggling about my brother and she was just as encouraging as in the past and it warmed my heart. Although I look back and wonder if I needed her friendship a whole lot more than she needed mine; I guess I’ll never know. When I went back home to visit; I was not able to see her.  I hope she realizes how much she meant to  me; maybe one day I might be able to see her again and tell her how blessed I was to have her as friend and how important that moment was.

 

Additional thoughts-  The thing I want people to take from this story is that you never know how your kindness affects other and can be life changing for them. I, mean that was about 20 years ago and I still think about those days and how I was surrounded by this group of people that really loved me and do to this day. Not everyone is as lucky to have had such a supportive network. And I can honestly that since my brother died; I considered myself to be an only child by circumstance. But those people in a sense became my sisters and brothers and moms and dads ( alongside my own parents) and I love them dearly and make sure to share my writings with some of them; so they know how I feel and they all have been so responsive and supportive.  So be kind to people because that could really make a difference in their lives that may be full of darkness. With that I am done with this post. Sending my followers positive vibes.

Dave

The rewards of being kind

I always been affected by the kindness that others have shown me throughout my life. There were times where I was in a group of people and being mocked and rejected and someone would take the time to be kind to me; be my friend; in spite of the cruelty around me. Those are people I don’t forget. And I hope that I have payed it forward and made a difference in someone’s life who was lonely and hurt by others; I hope I have been a friend to them. I was thinking about the period of my life when I was 18 and 19; it was a transitional period; I had graduated from high school, got my first job and was now an adult; now longer in the bubble of the school system; I was on my own. I remember I had joined a 12 step group because I thought I had issues with substance abuse; I met a lot of people and to be honest most of them were not nice; a lot were downright cruel. But I befriended a small group of people there and I hung out with them; and I feel like accepted to a certain extent. I was thinking about one person in particular; she was a beautiful girl who was dating someone in our group. My experience with attractive women at the point was that they were mostly stuck up and never gave me the time of day; that hurt; but she was different. She actually talked to me; she listened; I didn’t feel she was stuck up and I felt she accepted me for who I was. That has a strong effect on me; because for the first time I felt comfortable around a woman I was attracted to. I didn’t daydream about her or want to ask her out; I just enjoyed being around her because she was so nice. I even found myself telling her about someone else I liked and seeking her advice; which was strange because I found her to be way more attractive than the girl I was talking about. She left the group maybe a month or two later and I’m not sure why but I was saddened by that. And of all the people I met in that group; she and maybe 3 or 4 other people are the only ones out of hundreds of people that I actually liked. It’s the power of kindness and I hope I have been that person for someone somewhere. I hope that I have been kind to someone who needed a friend; or maybe been the only man that a woman knew that wasn’t just interested in her body. I want to the same effect on someone that she had on me. I try my best to be kind to others; even though I’m not always perfect. I just think it feels good to be nice to others’ when someone can remember you for being kind and gentle; that means the world to me. I hope today I can show kindness to everyone I meet.

Have a great Sunday,

Dave

Working with the disabled

It’s Autism awareness month and I wanted to share my experience working with those who have developmental disabilities. All my life I have been passionate about helping the disabled; it’s a population I have always enjoyed being around. In fact some of the nicest; least non-judgmental people I have known have been disabled in one sense or another. It doesn’t take much to be their friend; you just need to be kind and understanding and have to ability to talk to them on their level. I think that because I have disabilities myself and was in special needs classes for most of my schooling; I am more sensitive about it because I see myself as part of that community.  Like a lot of disabled people I had trouble in social settings; making friends and building relationships. I also had difficulties finding and maintaining work and even more problems getting the understanding of my supervisors and co-workers.  Just getting through the work day was a struggle; because I’d run to the bathroom every 5 minutes ( I have physical issues as well) or lose my cool at inappropriate times.  It felt like I had to work 3 times as hard and I still wasn’t as good as the person working alongside me; it was frustrating to the point where I had a breakdown and had no choice but to leave work and was unemployed for several years; feeling hopeless.  One day a thought occurred to me that maybe I should go to school and finish my degree but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I remembered a friend of mine worked with people who had disabilities and I thought to myself: Hey I can do that.  I looked through the program catalog and found a developmental disabilities degree program and before you know it; I was signed up and headed to class. I remember being really nervous because I kept thinking that I am disabled myself; how can I help others who are disabled if I am struggling so much? I soon found out I loved the classes and did exceptionally well because I was so passionate about this field.  I may not have been able to express myself in the class the way I wanted to; but I shone through my writing; the papers I wrote about developmental disabilities. I found a few teachers and counselors who believed in me and encouraged me to continue. After a few years and a lot of apprehension; I started my internship at an agency that serves the needs of the developmentally disabled in our community; I was really nervous.  I am actually on my second round of internship at the same agency.  To be honest; getting along with my supervisor and some of the other workers can be challenging. I find some of them to be rude and not willing to help me or guide me; I feel left on my own.  But what I do take comfort is the fact that I love working with the clients. I love to see them laugh and the smiles they give when they see me. That is my skill; the ability to connect with them maybe in a way that other workers can’t. I don’t bark orders at them and I speak to them at their own level; I never talk to   the client as if I am above them.  I try to be their friend and maybe that isn’t my role but I don’t know how to be anything but myself.   Yesterday I saw a client who has down syndrome who I hadn’t see since I was last there ( about 2 years)  He ran up to me gave me a high five; and said “DAVID!! I can’t believe it; you’re here; where you been? I missed you, man”. That brightened my whole day and that’s the reason I show up; to make a difference.  So when did I feel dismissed or not understood by staff I can take comfort in the fact that I care deeply about the clients and that my kindness is my gift. I know God placed me here for a reason and he doesn’t want to me to give up on my dreams.  It may be tough but I will continue my education so I can get a job in this field; I am determined.

Thanks for listening,Dave.

The positive effect you have others

It’s so easy to understand the  effect others have had on you; a kind word; someone who listened to you, a friend who stuck up for you. But you never quiet realize the effect you have on others. Sometimes our act own acts of kindness towards others seems small; trivial even. I mean, it doesn’t take much to listen to someone talk about losing their job or how they hate their parents but for the person who’s talking, a listening ear means the world to them.  Or encouraging them to follow their dreams could make the difference between success and failure for the other person.  And often times people will never tell you the effect you have had on them and if they do, it’s many years later. I know that I have left situations thinking the person either disliked me or at best would be indifferent towards me, come to find out they were happy to see me again, it always been a surprise to me.  I wonder if they remember me because I was kind or I was there for them when they needed me. In my life, I have always tried to be a good friend; loyal and there to lend an ear to a friend in need. When I was bullied, I said to myself, I don’t want to ever treat others the way they treated me. I said that to myself at 9 years and it has stuck with me.  I have not been perfect and I wasn’t always a nice person and that hurts. My advice to anyone reading this is to treat others with love all of the time. When someone is sad, take the time to listen them, encourage them. What may sound like whining to you is someone begging for help. Learn empathy, just because you are not in someone’s shoes doesn’t mean you can’t understand what they are going through. Show the people in your life you care about them ( telling them isn’t good enough).  Cheer them on when they succeed and pick them up when they fail.  The rewards are endless because remember when you help others not only do you feel good but you get help in return when you need it; it’s win-win. So make a positive impact on someone’s life and make this world a better place.

Peace,

Dave