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The Cameron Method - Newsletter Archive

7 August, 1998 - Private Ryan & Grief

We saw the first showing of Saving Private Ryan. I thought with our techniques so available, I (Sharon) would be able to control my reactions to the very realistic scenes.

There was intense reaction at the time, but what I discovered is that I personally had more and more reaction as the days went by. And, no, I didn't think to use our Releasing Strategy until later.

I found myself in meetings where I was immersed in issues of current concern, "fading out" and having certain painful scenes from the movie replayed with all the intensity or more than the original.

It happened when I was alone, and when I was with others. When I was reading or studying diligently something in my work, and when I was relaxed. It was becoming more intense instead of less as time went on. I was tearing up, and finally one morning, burst out into painful sobs over one scene as it came up again.

We finally realized we'd better look at the subconscious situation.

One other movie, years ago had given me strong negative residue. That movie was The Deer Hunter. I had opened up completely to the experience of the soldiers being tortured in Vietnam and the acceptance that such things definitely happened. The movie was too good at its portrayal.

For some time after that experience, I simply felt terribly uneasy--a constant undercurrent of fear. When we finally checked my subconscious, I had gone into the movie with a basic fear level of 8%. When I came out of it, my unconscious fear level was at 90%. And that was what I was carrying around.

Checking my reaction this time, we questioned my basic fear level again. Interestingly, this number had not been affected. Finally, we measured the term Grief. It was the intense emotion triggered now. It had gone from 0% before the movie to 100% after seeing it.

Grief and sadness come not so much from the anticipating emotion of fear (though fear is still involved in the root). Grief comes from an overwhelming belief that something "should have been different than it was."

One of the comments often made in the movie was that one thing or another was "not fair." A governing myth in our culture involves the belief in fairness, i.e. "the level playing field", "a fair shot", and "a fair chance to make it." Whether it is true in everyday life or not, we believe it should be true.

And then there is the "doesn't compute" of war. All bets are off. There is very little fairness in it. There is no seeming rhyme or reason why one person might get killed or wounded and another is unharmed. It goes against all our beliefs: in a just world, in getting rewarded for good work, in being saved for being "good" or even smart.

So here we are again, with our mind demanding that things be different than they are, and demanding that we see the sense of it. It seems in our pain that our castles are made of sand after all.

Take this technique to free your mind from painful memories that "shouldn't have happened." When you can see what the belief is, you can decide to let it go! Re-experiencing pain is not useful. When you feel pain and grief come up about any past event, use these statements. Repeat them until you can say them easily, and without any more negative feelings or reactions to the subject.

Use The Releasing Strategy, saying each statement aloud once or until you can say it easily.

Have a great day,
Sharon and Clark Cameron

The Cameron Group
Helping People Create Attitudes That Work For Them


"Attitude makes all the difference!"

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