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Some days we’re just in a sour mood – perhaps coming to terms with disappointment, loss, or heartache. There’s nothing to fix per se, we just need time to brood.

For example, we might need time to lick our wounds if we’re let go from a job, someone walks out of our life unexpectedly, or a major project we worked on ends in failure.

We’re not happy with the outcome, but it’s the reality we face.

And certainly there are times to lament. But brooding is different.

Brooding is more introspective – reflecting on and pondering the grief and negative experiences we face.

It’s the rainy day of the soul in which we’re not just waiting for the rain to pass – we’re contemplating the very presence of the rain in our life.

On the outside this might look like despair and others quickly try to cheer us up. But this is like rubbing salt in our wounds. A heavy heart doesn’t necessarily need cheering up.

At the same time, we don’t have to let our bad mood infect others. And developing our habits of the soul allow us to honor our need to brood without taking it out on others.

In the end, brooding allows us to reflect on and reorientate ourselves toward a deeper meaning and purpose in life. It is a soil of growth even though it’s unpleasant.

And life becomes shallow when we don’t allow for this space – when we’re unable to sit with and accept negative experiences.

But if we’re not careful we can also get stuck. There’s a time to brood. And the sun still rises.

Live in hope while graciously giving yourself space to brood as needed.

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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