Nowadays, the concepts – non-judgmentality and empathy became very popular. We see them often while scrolling social media pages. Everyone talks about being empathetic towards self or towards others. Positive attitude, affirmations and self compassion concepts also became popular.
But what does that exactly mean? Imagine, someone is sexually abusing me or I am sexually abusing someone. What does it mean to have empathy for myself? What does that mean to have self compassion? Does that mean, being ok even if sexual abuse is happening to me or I am sexually abusing someone?
How can a person take action to change situation if he / she cannot feel that a particular situation is bad? What is nonjudgementality? If there is no good and no bad, there is no scope for change.
Most of the people are using concepts like nonjudgementality and empathy to keep themselves in inactive state. I.e., they are indirectly choosing denial. Denial is a state where a person feels that everything is ok with him/her inspite of facing many problems.
Real meaning of non judgementality, having empathy for self / self acceptance is –
1. Gaining objective perspective: Being able to see both positive and negative parts of a situation. I.e., Seeing situation in the way it is
2. Not being critical: Not blaming self or others for being the cause of negative aspects of a situation
3. Holding self or others accountable: Why would a problem arise if no one contributes to it? The person who really contributed to problem needs to be identified. Holding someone accountable is different from blaming. Eg: If I am a victim, I have to understand how abuser caused the problem.
4. Manking action plan to change the situation: Change can be initiated by identifying hinderances that are acting as obstacles to an action. Eg: If I am victim, making plan involves seeing abuser objectively, taking decision to end abuse, identifying my own hinderances that are stopping me from escaping from the abuse, dealing with them. If I am abuser, action plan is to see victim objectively, understand how much pain I am causing, identifying and understanding why I am abusing, dealing with those reasons which are not allowing me to stop abuse.
5. Doing actions. Step 4 is useless until or unless it is coupled with actions. After gaining knowledge about hinderances and making action plan, a small step needs to be taken to change situation. Eg: complaining on abuser if I am a victim or moving away from victim if I am an abuser.
6. Endorsing own actions. That includes writing about my achievement, telling people about what happened, reinforcing self by giving some gifts to self, etc. Appreciating self and using positive affirmations has to happen at this stage.
7. Believing in the change. Those who solve problems are the ones who are very different and unique. Most of the people dont choose to solve problems. So after a person solves his/her own problem and develops real self acceptance, he/she will be challenged by others. Imagine, a group of people are in shit. One person among them risked life, moved out, became clean and healthy. Now for those who didn’t make attempts to move out of shit, it becomes impossible to accept greatness of the one who moved out. If they accept, they have to start moving out of shit and that they don’t want to do. More over, people who are aged find it even more difficult to appreciate the ones who move out of shit because, if the appreciate, they have to accept that they unnecessarily lived in shit all these years.
8. Helping others to change: This is optional. Those who change, if they help others to change, they further become more strong and healthy by learning from others.