Make Room For The Stuttering

Die To It

Posted on: July 3, 2009

dance and singI have two beautiful stoneware pieces that I bought a few years ago. I loved the sayings. They look nice on my wall, but honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to them. 

Recent thoughts find me reflecting more on the meaning of life. I had one of those “Aha moments” as I passed by them today in my living room. I was even inspired to photograph them. I have been thinking a lot lately about living life more fully.

Dance as  though no one is watching you! Sing as though no one can hear you! 

Trusted mentor and friend J and I talked recently about change and taking chances,and how scary it can be to take the big chances that will result in big change. He once suggested to me to think about death when confronted with something that seems too overwhelmingly fearful. It took me a while to understand how powerful this really is. (See earlier post where we first discussed this, way back in April, called Surrender with Grace ).

I have talked before about the wonderful book I have been reading, Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser. It’s about how difficult times can help us grow. She devotes several chapters to the “practice of dying”.  Its fascinating, and I highly recommend the book.

Now, why would anyone want to “practice death”?  Lesser writes that when we are faced with a challenge or fear, we should “die to it”. In other words, ask what must die in order for us to give up the resistance, or our ego, or whatever it is that is holding us back. Many people fear death, so if you prepare yourself for it, everything else will be that much easier to face. Live your life as if this day was your last.

Lesser further asserts, “Practicing dying means living as close to reality as we can in each moment. It is the ultimate bravery.”

So, does this have anything to do with stuttering? It absolutely does. I am having a hard time right now with my stoppages, and I am trying to figure out a way to just give in to them. I have several good friends whose names begin with “J”. Joe shared something with me by email the other day, that has not left my head.  He said,

If there is one thing we know about stuttering, it’s that it changes, all the time. I’ve often felt that before things get better, stutter-wise or life-wise, they get worse first. I know that my big positive changes in my own stuttering were precipitated by increases in stuttering, tension, struggle, you name it. As much as you can, let that stuttering come, let the block happen. Sit there with it. It’s going to teach you something, we just don’t know what yet. You may want to try doing some of it, whatever “it” is, on purpose.

And although I wanted to be covert, I was never able to, so I don’t know covert like you know covert. But wouldn’t you feel kinda dumb if you had been trying not to stutter all these years, and there really wasn’t any stuttering under there in the first place? I know I would. This is the stuttering that you have been avoiding for years and years… the only way, unfortunately, to get past it is to go through it…

I think I may have to die to my stuttering, to re-accept this part of me. My ego may have become a bit too comfortable with what I thought I was comfortable with. I want to identify less with ego and more with soul. That is how I think I/we can live life to its fullest.

I am going to try and sit more with my stuttering and let it teach me what needs to be taught. I am also going to try to make more room to sit quietly and practice dying. It will help me to be more successful living.

What should you die to? What will you gain?

Copyright © 2009

4 Responses to "Die To It"

this is a really moving story of your aha moment. I wonder if you’d be interested in coming to our site: and telling it? it was created by mutual of omaha and people come and tell us about moments that have motivated or inspired or changed them in any way, big or small. sometimes they motivate or inspire others by doing so.



That invitation sounds great Pam, you should do it.

Such a moving post. I like you need to die to my stuttering as well because I too need to live a more meaningul life. Stuttering has robbed me of so much in life.

I recently have been thinking of dying where I wont have to worry too much about stuttering and how much it has robbed me of life, so I guess I am well on my way to not being as terrified about my stuttering. I am sure I will gain big time. This as you well know is hard and so I am prepared to take my baby steps and when I fall to just get up, brush myself off and go.

Thanks for sharing you Aha moment.

So many things I want to do, but can’t decide what to give up. So I end up doing the things I don’t want to give up, rather than something that I would enjoy more. We need longer days.

It took me some time to understand what you meant when you said “die to it”. I pondered the meaning, and what could possibly be the reason a person would do this… I’m not sure I still completely understand. But I do get the principle of surrendering to what you cannot change and need to accept. And that is a good thing to do, although very difficult.

“Practicing dying means living as close to reality as we can in each moment. It is the ultimate bravery.” Now this makes sense to me. I would love to be able to live life to the fullest every moment of every day… It seems as though our lives consists too much of school to get a job, work to get money so we can survive, lucky if you find love or someone to share life with, and then in the end we all die. So it seems to me we all need to make the best of the time we have on this earth.
To me that means being the best person I can be, learn as much as I can, and share my wisdom. Have children and give them a good life, and to be a positive influence in someone’s life. What does that mean to you?

Acceptance is a strange thing, isn’t it? I’ve learned recently, that it’s an ongoing process. When it comes to stuttering, very few, if any are 100% ok with stuttering 100% of the time. And that’s ok. I don’t think you need to be 100% ok all the time. But I think it’s great to have this feeling some of the time, and more and more of the time as you get older.

Joe is a very smart and great guy who knows what he’s talking about. And it’s like we talked about Pam, it changes, and so will your feelings about it. It’s a work in progress. And when you start getting used to this new way of speaking, you can start being more ok with it. Reaccept stuttering. Not just the stutter-pattern you used to have, but also this new pattern. Which is also very cool btw! You keep living up to you StutterRockStar status =D

Love you!

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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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