Anger is Valid

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Anger is valid.

Fear is valid.

Grief is valid.

My nephew, a black man, was tear gassed during a peaceful demonstration last week in New Orleans. He is angry and afraid. His family is angry and afraid. I am angry and afraid. And relieved it was just tear gas. (He is not the person depicted in the photo.)

Our feelings are valid and appropriate responses to the world’s events. We also grieve the losses of friends to Covid 19. We are grieving.The world is afraid, the world is angry, the world is grieving.Grief for our world is appropriate.

Our feelings are hard, but appropriate. I just read an article about hope, and looking at this time as a rebirth, in a sense. It urged us not to be sad, but grateful that our sickness is being exposed. As a human of advancing years, I say, “Again? Still?”

As a Buddhist I see it this way. Emotions are not wrong. Even the hard ones. We should NOT try to run from them, NOT try to bury them. We should instead sit with them and feel them and explore them with curiosity so that we can understand them and so that we can use them to support our thoughtful actions rather than just raging against injustice.

It’s hard. But it’s possible. It weakens the suffering.

Feel your fear. Feel your anger. Feel your grief. Feel your love. Feel your confusion.

There is pain. Pain is real. There is suffering. Suffering comes from our struggle with pain.

There is a path out of suffering, but not out of pain. Pain is part of life. We will experience it. We will experience all kinds of emotions, too. They are part of our evolutionary package. They are valid.

Categories: Behavior, Current Events, Uncategorized

Kellie Snider, MS

When I was a young child, my father, my grandmother, an uncle, and a teacher noticed and complimented my talent and interest in drawing. My family didn’t know how to help me make a career in art, but they made sure I knew that my art was a good thing. I was fortunate to grow up in a time when the arts were still considered an essential part of a well-rounded education. I had a very good art teacher in elementary school, and I was able to continue studying art throughout middle school and high school. I even ventured a couple of years of college-level art study.

My education in art did not include the business of art, so I went off and got a traditional job as a draftsman, the kind that drew with pencils and templates on sheets of vellum, spread across massive desks. (I always named my desks Carlisle.) I worked for an oil company, a shipyard, a power company, and for NASA’s Johnson Space Center TV Department. I was there during some pivotal moments in space history. I also met the man I would marry. I stayed home to raise our kids for a few years, and while doing that I worked as a freelance writer and did some freelance art as well. But then I got a deep interest in animal behavior thanks to an aggressive cockatoo we had, got an advanced degree in behavior analysis and launched a career in animal welfare. That career lasted nearly 15 years, and it nearly did me in. The burnout and compassion fatigue was overwhelming.

When I was laid off from a director’s position in animal welfare during Covid Times, I began to paint to help ground myself. People began to show an interest in my painting and I got many requests for commissions. That was when I realized that I could learn the business side of art and be a real live artist full time.

I have never been happier in my professional life. I wake up every day, have a lovely cup of tea with breakfast, and head to my studio. My days are rich and peaceful. I’ve come home for trained as a behavior analyst, but I am what Barbara Sher called a Scanner. I'm interested in a lot of different things, and once I learn a lot about them I'm ready to learn something new. But all the things involve somebody's behavior. This blog is about how behavior and different activities intersect.

Constructional Approaches will be discussed a lot.