Gyro Thinking

A gyro ball is a piece of exercise equipment used for strengthening the wrist, fingers, and forearm. It’s about the size of a tennis ball, and is composed of an outer covering and a free-spinning inner gyroscope. The faster the inner ball spins, the more strength you need to hold on to the device, and yet, all you need to keep the gyro going is a gentle circular motion of the wrist.

It seems to me that sometimes we can get caught up in gryo thinking where our thoughts spin and spin, and all it takes to keep those thoughts accelerating with ever increasing strength is to nudge ourselves with reminders of those thoughts. Sometimes the gryo gains such strength that it seems impossible to ever break the cycle.

In my case, what winds up my gyro are affronts. Pure hurts I can deal with face on. Pure anger generally burns itself out Ferris wheelwithin a few hours or maybe a couple of days at most. But affronts — being disregarded or deliberately disrespected — go deep, probably because they touch on ancient hurts and ancient angers.

This is a game two can play. If another person also experiences a similar slight or an offense from the same source, you can really rev each other up. You start out by talking things out, but so often what you are really doing is keeping each other’s wheels spinning.

I’ve never heard of gyro thinking, though I’m sure there is another, more technical name for it. It’s just something I have recently become aware of. (Which makes me wonder — did my having a name for such thinking make way for the concept itself? I only made the correlation after hearing about a gyro ball exerciser and learning how it works.)

I’m not subject to such spinning thoughts very often any more, but when I do feel affronted, I am learning not to feed the gyro. Learning to let the thoughts pass through my mind without holding on to them. Learning to let the spinning wheel turn on its own until it comes to a peaceful stop.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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