Hello everyone. I have missed you all like crazy. I can’t believe it’s been over two over weeks since my last blog post. What better way to get back into the groove of things than to talk about something that is personal and special to me. Once more it It is International Stuttering Awareness Day. Today I am going to share an experience with you where I have endured through my disfluency.
As you may or not know, I work in a hospital doing sanitation work in the food and nutrition department. I don’t consider myself the best worker in the place, but I take pride in what I do and lend an extra hand whenever I can. Every now and then, sanitation gets a new worker or two. Sometimes I’m tasked with training whoever comes in. I remember the first time my director asked me to train someone. I agreed to it, but I was a bit anxious about it inside. Why was I anxious, because I wasn’t sure how trainees would respond to a trainer with a stutter. Will they be patient? Will they make out everything I’m saying? For most of my life people have misheard what I say on more than a couple of occasions.
Whenever I have a new person who I have to train, I always pray, “Lord please be with me when I train them. Touch my lips and tongue. Let them be patient with me and I with them. Let them be able to understand me. Let them not be afraid to ask me questions. More importantly, let me show them everything they need to know and that they it all in”
Each person who I train seems to say that I do just fine showing them the ropes. What makes my heart soar is seeing the trainees grow into good workers knowing I had a hand in showing them how the job is done. If someone like me- a man with a speech impediment – can instruct someone; you can too.
Where am I with my speech now? Let’s just say I’m not quite ready to give a sermon like my father, but I’m not letting my stutter define me either. Why should I? I’m bigger than it, and I take great comfort knowing that God is bigger than any trial in our lives. I can’t promise people that I’m not going to stutter, or that one day it will disappear, but I can promise whoever that for the rest of my days I will apply these words to my life- prayer, patience, and perseverance. I went into detail about these words in a previous post, and here they are again if you didn’t catch them.
Prayer If there is one being in existence who will listen to what you say no matter how long you take, it is the Most High. When I’m talking to God in private my stutter is almost non existent. Why is that? Perhaps maybe because God knows me so well. Even before I came into the world He knew what type of person I would be. For as long as I can remember, I have asked Him to touch my lips; tongue; diaphragm; and every other body part that enables speaking. Through Him, I speak better.
Patience As much as we would like it to, our stutter is not going to disappear overnight. Once, when I was younger, I prayed that it would, only to be disappointed the next morning. And it is true that there are famous people who have stuttered, but some of them took years to overcome it. We can’t compare ourselves to others. If we do this we end up only hurting ourselves. Every person is different. You are overcoming your speech on your own timeclock in your own way. Don’t rush yourself.
Diving further into patience, if you have to take your time as you speak to avoid stuttering, then go that route. Not all of us can spit out words like hip hop artists or auctioneers. If somebody wants to press you to speed it up or “just say it already”, then clearly they are an inpatient person and not worth speaking to.
Perseverance You must MUST keep pressing on! If you don’t have anybody to push you to do better, push yourself. You don’t have to do as I do, but my mentality is to apply myself three times as hard as anybody else. One of my methods to bettering my speech is talking to myself in the mirror. Why, because I’m dashing as all get up. 😄 Just kidding. Seeing my reflection gives me the chance to see myself speak. I learn to keep my tongue in my mouth, eyes open, head straight up, throat untensed, and to breathe when I need to. Whatever helps you become a better speaker, go for it.