I was speaking with someone about the role of awareness in preventing the progression of negativity and found myself using the story of Rumpelstiltskin as an analogy. Since then I’ve been reflecting on the lessons we can extract from this fable about dealing with fear.
Most of you will already know the Brothers Grimm’s story of Rumpelstiltskin. It goes something like this:
A man boasts to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king locks the girl up in a room full of straw and forces her to do just that. Should she fail, she’d be killed. A creature shows up and does the job for her, in exchange for her necklace. The king puts her into a bigger room with more straw, promising he will marry her if she can do the same magic. The creature appears again and offers to perform the task; the price this time is her firstborn child when she becomes queen. The king marries the girl and they have a child. The creature returns to claim its prize… unless she can guess its name within three days. She sends a guard out to spy on the creature, who is found dancing around a fire, arrogantly singing its name. When it appears the next day, the queen utters its name, “Rumpelstiltskin”. Shocked to its core, the creature wobbles away and vanishes from the face of the earth.