Keeping the Peace

Therapy That We All Need, Not Just Kids With Autism

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about all the therapies our child has had over the years. Our kids with autism have to put in a lot of time and effort into the work. They will spend hours learning about how to speak, hold conversations, or appropriately engage people. Then there are the days and days of practicing social skills, learning how to decipher body language, as well as how to express feelings. Yet the everyday person won’t bother themselves with those kind of things. They won’t take the time to improve those skills or make it a priority. People would rather ignore each other than take the time or do the work to communicate. Conducting themselves appropriately socially is not on the radar of most people. More and more, I see that every single person in this world could use some regular therapy.

Why We All Need Therapy

Maybe people just weren’t taught these basic but necessary skills as children because it wasn’t deemed necessary for a typical person as it is necessary for someone with autism. I’m sure that’s part of it. It could also be that it’s just easier to avoid things rather than confronting them. Some of it is definitely a lack of conscience and a lack of knowing how to live life actively trying to do good every moment. It doesn’t seem like it’s a priority to teach our children to be kind anymore, and if we’re not being kind ourselves, that’s the example they are mirroring. I talk about this in another post I did years ago on kindness.Whatever the reason, people just don’t have the skills to talk to each other anymore nor the desire to love on each other.

I’ve been guilty of it too. Sometimes it’s just easier to not rock the boat. Many times it’s just better to avoid the situation or the person. But I know better, and because of my beliefs, I know the right way to handle these things. Stubbornness can get in the way. Pretending there isn’t a problem is definitely the wrong way to handle it. Over the years my daughter has had to develop these social and communication skills. She’s also learned the most important life skill that you treat people with love, even if they don’t love on you back. Between everything we’ve learned through her therapies over the last eight years and what I’ve learned personally in therapy, I realized something. It’s not just kids like my daughter that could use speech, communication, and social skills training. It’s not just people like me who need therapy from the struggle with anxiety or the grief of loss. We all need it!

The Therapy of Being and Doing Good

Not necessarily just speech therapy or psychotherapy, although those couldn’t hurt the average person. All therapies can be helpful in some way. There are so many ways we could improve how we socialize and interact with others. I’m not suggesting that any of them truly provide the fix we need, except for maybe one. The kind that regularly nudges you to look within and reminds you of what is right. What about the kind of therapy that actually drives you to be the best human you can be? I guess I’m basically referring to feeding your faith as a “therapy”. If you believe and want to live a life that mirrors that belief, you are constantly relying on that faith in all that you do.

Whether you believe in God or not, you should have the inherent desire to do right and be good. Sure, it isn’t the case with everyone, but I think most people want to be good human beings. Faith makes it your central point, your one and only mission in this life. That kind of therapy pushes you to be your best self, be kind, and communicate with others in a loving and appropriate way. It’s the therapy of living a purpose full life and that is what we are all called to do.

Is it Worth the Struggle?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy. Sometimes people just don’t seem worth the headache or the heartache. Some of them even seem like they don’t want to be loved. Those are the ones you have to reach out to even more. That is the type of person you still have to engage with and be kind to. We’re suppose to love our enemies right? It may be easier to pretend they don’t exist, but it isn’t right to ignore them and it makes you a person who is living in anger, not in love. We were created to love one another, not hate each other, foster anger and resentment, or be cruel. None of that is what our hearts tell us to do. But we have the free will to make choices and many times, we choose poorly. We’re called to love all people in this life even if we don’t always like them.

I still remember the time before my daughter was diagnosed with autism. Many parents were eager to tell us us to take her to therapy, not knowing that we were already neck deep in trying to figure out what her needs were. It was a hard pill to swallow. But I knew that they, like most people, spend their time suggesting how others can fix their supposed flaws or deal with their problems. These are the same people that don’t have the time to examine their own conscience and motives. Maybe then they would see that their approach is less than loving. They weren’t out to help or support, but rather to show how someone didn’t fit in and offer their opinion on how to rectify the situation.

Therapy For Life

Therapy isn’t a permanent fix. It’s a way of life. It helps to heal and gives you programs, systems, and tools to handle things. Therapy is a process and you can’t avoid any step. You have to put what you’ve learned into practice daily. Most people have trouble doing anything daily. But it’s especially hard to look into yourself regularly. It’s difficult to examine your conscience daily because you may see something you don’t like. That might push you to change, and change can be hard. Maybe your therapy can’t be the kind that helps you communicate better or engage appropriately with people. But there is no reason why you can’t employ that faith therapy every single day. It’s with that guiding force that we can be better and do better.

That’s the the therapy that we all need, that kind that helps us change a little bit every day, for the better. Do the whole world a favor and sign yourself up for that.

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