Excerpts - The Story of The Little Match Girl
Somebody comes up to you and starts talking. They tell you of one area of their life that seems kind of threatening at the moment, and they say, “I have no security.” “I just don’t have any security.” “I feel like I’m out here floating without a rudder.”
So you say, “You live in a pretty good looking mansion here.”
They say, “I might lose it.”
Pretty soon the person has themselves convinced that they’re the “poor little match girl.” Do you remember the story of the poor little match girl.
There was a story of people that used to hire little children. They sent them out on cold nights to sell matches. Matches in those days were a very scarce item. So they gave the poor little match girl a little box of matches, and then the girl was to sell them one at a time. If they didn’t bring the money back, they had to bring the matches back.
So the story goes that she went out into the cold night with a gale blowing, and she couldn’t find anybody to buy matches, but she knew they would beat her if she didn’t sell some matches. So she stayed longer and longer and her little hands got so cold, that she finally took one of the matches and lighted it and held it in her little cupped hands. Then she became frightened that she would be a match short and no money for it. She couldn’t take the profit back to pay for this match. And so she was frantic and she had to sell matches. She stayed out later and later and the gale got worse and the northern wind blew in from Colorado and it got colder. Her hands got so painful she had to light another match. This went on until she lighted all the matches. Then she couldn’t go back because they would beat her destroy her as she had no matches nor money either. So she laid down in the cold and froze to death.
(What a real tear jerker.)
This is the way most of us can get ourselves convinced that we are like the poor little match girl. I play this one to folks quite often when they tell me how miserable they are while they’re living in a mansion and driving a Cadillac along with a few thousand dollars worth of cash in the bank plus gobs of securities, insurance—all these things.
The poor little match girl begins to ring a bell for them because by autosuggestion, they’ve got themselves feeling like the poor little match girl.
Autosuggestions build a tremendous limitation within the person’s life; and when they’re experiencing the misery, they forget about the suggestion that got them in this state.
So, this miserable state can come from one little incident that they weren’t absolutely certain about--the mind starts moving from this moment of certainty to the idea of non-certainty which is fear. Then they autosuggest themselves into a terrible state of affairs.
If you can look at it with the humor of “so sad and beautiful” and “the poor little match girl”--very soon everyone can be laughing.
(That’s a good story.)
Just don’t get to crying over it yourself. So it’s well to “shut if off.”
(We were having a meeting once and this woman was crying away and someone said, “Why don’t you turn that crap off so we can get something done here. She just looked at him, stopped; and we had a great conversation with a lot of insight.)
(She saw that she hadn’t sold you on it.)
The sale hadn’t been made there. If you have no desire to escape a possibility of a painful situation, what is there to bother you. What do you have then?
Isn’t that the only way freedom can come into being?
That you have no desire to escape the possibility of pain of rejection, being ignored etc.
We’ve discovered that we’re not so important that we can’t experience whatever arises today. I’m not going out looking for any pain, but I have found through the years that when it did arise, I got through it some way or other. So then it’s the anticipation and the attempt to build a wall of protection to keep us from getting non-disturbance that makes all the struggle, conflict and resistance.
Ask “What’s going on this minute?” is that so miserable, or is it all the anticipation that one is not going to be able to escape some pain in the future. If it should ever arise (which I don’t know for sure), I can be free to experience it.
There was an old man that I talked to long ago. He said, “Look, son, I know what you’re trying to say.” “I’m an old man—and I’ve had an awful lot of trouble, very little of which ever happened!”
When you get down to what is really happening, you can tolerate it. Now the “what might” happen—Oh man, it wears you down. Then you can go on with a little “boldness”—might not like it. but we’ve lived through it so far.