Make Room For The Stuttering


Posted on: June 28, 2009

My cheese keeps moving and I don’t like it. I get used to my cheese being in a certain place and that’s where I expect it to be when I look for cheese.

Change is an inevitable part of life, but still, most of us resist it. One of the best books I ever read is “Who Moved My Cheese?” (by Spencer Johnson). The story is a fable about living in a maze and spending all of your time running around looking for, finding and eating “cheese”. Cheese is the metaphor for what we want to have in life, such as a good job, meaningful relationship, enough money, etc.

I live in a maze. I think we all do. The hard part about living in this maze is that the place they keep the cheese keeps changing. When the old cheese moves, you have to get off your butt to find new cheese. But it can be scary, as change often is. It involves taking a certain amount of risk.

It is often easier to remain stuck in old patterns and mind-sets even when they don’t work anymore and even when they are making us miserable. We are comfortable with what we know. We become attached to the way things are, even if they are bad for us.

This is happening to me. The way I feel about my stuttering has been changing, and I didn’t recognize it right away. Its not Swiss cheese with neat little holes anymore. No, its a block of cheddar cheese now. I never used to like Swiss cheese, but I grew to like it and am now comfortable with it. I make sandwiches all the time with Swiss cheese. Now, I have to get used to a block of cheddar cheese. Its hard to cut, the slices don’t always come out even and sometimes they crumble and fall apart. Like my stuttering. Sometimes, it falls apart.

The cheese in my relationship is also changing and moving. The more I grow and reach new personal heights, the more my partner wants me to stay the same. It makes me crazy sometimes, and I give in to it, because the alternative is scary. But one of these days, I am going to wake up and find that all of my old cheese is gone, and I will have no choice but to change course in the maze and discover new cheese. I think I will like new cheese. I think I am even testing new cheeses right now, sometimes without even realizing it. As a good friend said, its gives me hope.

What will it be? Feta? Goat? Brie? Something that I haven’t tried yet, that I know for sure.

What do you do when your cheese moves? Do you get off your butt and look for new cheese? I don’t think we have a choice – we have to look for cheese in new places.

Copyright © 2009

8 Responses to "Ch-ch-ch-Cheese"

Have you read The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner? She discusses how when you begin to change, the ones who love you invariably try to push you back to your old self. Even when the changes are good ones that they want for you.

Hey, You are right… a lotta introspection is reqd to sense the change… 🙂

Do read Spencer’s “Peaks and Valleys”… Its also a great book… 🙂

Thanks Jane and Ridwan for the suggestions.
I have a $25 gift card from Amazon, so I just put peaks and valleys in my shopping cart.
I put The Dance of Anger on my wish list.
We learn so much from each other – its amazing!

Dance of Anger has sold 40 billion copies (well, a lot) and it’s at most public libraries or used book stores. Save the $ and pick it up for a buck (or for free!) 🙂

Ridwan, I’m going to look at Peaks and Valleys now.

Pam don’t worry, your partner will grow to like the new cheese. You said it well that is how change is. Change is hard but necessary, becasue how else will we grow and discover new and better things that add value to our lives.

Keep doing what you are doing, in the end it all boils down to how you feel you have done in your life. Are you happy, should you have made more progress towards self actualization.

You’re his cheese. Add that to his health problems (another cheese), and of course he’s nervous. Remember to do things with him and for him, things he can see and feel and hold, remember, enjoy and look forward to. My book recommendations are Gray’s Men are from Mars…. — especially the first bits that never make it to the summaries, and address the most common criticisms of the book. Also, the languages of love . Never actually read the book, but the idea makes sense. Both books have a common thread: You can speak your love language all you want, but if it isn’t his, he won’t hear it. Likewise, be aware of how he expresses it. Martians think a dozen roses all at once and mowing the lawn weekly is an awesome show of love. Venutians prefer a rose a week for a dozen weeks (or a cheaper flower) and help every night drying the dishes.

I know I may be his cheese, but I still want to experiment with new cheese. I think thats OK, he’s content with the same brand of cheese he’s had for over 20 years. My heart says its time to find cheese that will bring out the best in my cheese. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, old cheese and new cheese just don’t mix. The old cheese just won’t melt and merge with the new cheese, no matter how much you stir and try and coax.
Ahhh, cheese, why are you so complex?

I don’t know your relationship situation that is being discussed in the posts BUT I do know that trusting in yourself to make the best decision is a great feeling… helps you get to know yourself even better and become your own best friend.
Cheese-wise… sometimes I think I am stuck chasing that stinky cheese that I would never just go and grab and eat daily… but I know in the long run it will add a sophistication to my palate if I just keep dabbling in it and attempt to appreciate the complexity of the taste.
By the way, I jotted down the books that were mentioned in your posts… I love this community of learners that you have created!

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2022.
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