Unfreezing Time: Healing From Trauma and Abuse

By Elisa Novick

With a current theme on this blog being the revealing and healing of abuse, I am moved to speak of it. Abuse can be subtle or gross and can be perpetrated unwittingly or with malice. The revolving door between victimhood and perpetrator is easy to traverse. None of us is completely free of either role.

Elisa Novick; photo by Eric.

Frankly, I don’t like the word “abuse.” It sounds so, well, abusive. It gets bandied about by some as a bludgeon. The victim who feels defensive goes on the offensive, becoming a bully. Nevertheless, in acknowledging the crimes in our history, we must be willing to witness and call out what we see.

One of the challenges I have as a healer in assisting my clients in navigating their way through a healing process to a good life, a magnificent, joyful life, is how to receive what I hear. My job is not only to facilitate process, but also to hold the Light and be a conduit for the transmutative power of Spirit.

When I work with someone, I do my best to maintain loving neutrality, trusting that the person has everything they need inside of them to heal. I have learned that the circumstances of our lives are tailor-made (i.e., spiritually arranged) to accomplish whatever we came into this life to learn or strengthen or balance out.

But I am not superhuman, nor is my family history free from these issues. I hear excruciatingly painful stories. I’ve had moments of horror when I hear what people do to each other, especially to children who worship the adults in their lives as gods and have no recourse or escape.

In those moments, my inner mother lion would like nothing more than to go back and stop the perpetration, with deadly force if necessary. But that gets us nowhere, even if it were possible.

So I move more deeply into the loving, remembering for that person, until they are ready to remember for themselves, that there is a magnificent and joyful soul behind all the suffering, a beautiful being who can come forth again, possibly even more beautiful and wise because of it all. I have to embrace the person just as they are while holding the awareness of what they can move into.

The essential key I’ve learned is that there is spiritual assistance available to us, but we have to engage in the process. We have to dig out enough of what happened to place it on the altar and let the Light do the work.

If you look with your spiritual vision in those moments, you can see the healing team (masters of Light, angels, and sometimes even archangels) ministering to the person. We don’t have to do everything ourselves.

So I become a detective, searching for relevant moments, piecing together puzzle patterns of relationship that can illuminate the information and give clues to how the healing has to take place.

The healing team is present to assist us in dissolving the disturbed energies, but we have to do our part, by acknowledging what’s happened and learning from it. These are the gifts — free choice and the opportunity for learning — that make the human incarnation so valuable.

Why does abuse occur?

There are two predominant reasons that abuse occurs: generational — systemic issues in the family in the current time or that may go back generations, and karmic — unresolved issues from previous lifetimes calling to be balanced or completed.

These reasons are entangled — the karmic history calling us into the families and the era and the specific situations, all chosen by us before we came in and updated appropriately as we go along, though for the most part, we are not aware of that. Yes, I know it is hard to imagine how we might choose some of these experiences.

You can’t imagine you are going to experience that much pain because when you don’t have a body, it doesn’t look real. In actuality, it isn’t real and so the benefit of the experience is taken into consideration as a higher priority. In reality you are being constantly loved and that is always available to you. In the midst of these experiences you can transcend.

–The Inner Master

You might ask, couldn’t this just be situational? The abuse would not have occurred except for local or global immediate circumstances: If the family hadn’t been forced to emigrate, if someone were not in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Great Depression or the Holocaust or the pogroms hadn’t occurred, and so on.

Yet, when we look at it all spiritually, we see that even these come about as a result of the same karmic and familial patterns being played out and that not everyone who goes through similar experiences reacts the same way.

This is given to humankind in order to learn. Without disabilities, there is no learning involved and stagnation or complacency can set in. So do not think you are alone in this journey. All will have this experience as part of their soul’s trajectory and it is there to be overcome, not rejected.

–The Inner Master

Whether you believe in happenstance or you believe everything happens for a reason, when you are ready to enter into a healing process, remaining in the victim role doesn’t get you far, nor does blaming yourself. All the roles we’ve taken on — of victim, perpetrator, sacrificial lamb, missionary-savior — have to be transcended if we are to transmute the pain and build a happy life.

Memories frozen in time

In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Captain Sisko meets with the Prophets, a noncorporeal race that inhabits a wormhole and has no concept of linear time. In order to appear to him, they take him in a vision to his most traumatic memory — losing his wife in a burning ship — and speak through the bodies of the people who were around him then. When he asks in despair why they chose this most awful of memories, they reply, “Because you exist here.”

To me this demonstrates one of the greatest keys to understanding how, when we go into shock in a traumatic moment, we become frozen there. In those moments an essential part of us gets stuck or left behind.

This explains how someone can commit suicide decades after surviving the Holocaust, or generations after the ancestor one is identified with committed suicide. It also points to a key in the healing process. We have to go back to retrieve ourselves and bring movement to that moment so that time can flow again.

How do we heal from trauma and abuse?

Suffering causes us to seek relief from the effects of trauma and that can take many forms, not always healthy. When it moves us to seek assistance and healing, we are truly choosing to fulfill our destiny and all of the forces of the universe line up to serve that process.

Entering into a new way of being entails transforming the underlying patterns. Just as the body has built-in healing mechanisms for disease and injury, there is a system in place that includes the release of such memories. It has to be tapped into through sustained willingness to view, let go, renew, and heal the wounds in the psyche and energy bodies.

While I have a multitude of approaches and pathways available that I’ve gathered and refined and that have proved effective in my skills kit, I am constantly delighted at the creativity each person I work with brings to the task.

In the same way as a question contains the seeds of its answer and a math equation has the potential of its proof, we each have a unique and marvelous understanding that can come forth, revealed by the very circumstances we seek to overcome.

I am often humbled and honored to have the opportunity to engage in this holy process in which I learn as much as I teach.

Above all (literally) is the spiritual assistance here for the asking. We cannot heal an issue at the level in which it was created. Years of primal therapy and other cathartic methods showed me that simply expressing the feelings doesn’t actually change them, though one might experience temporary — even addictive — relief.

Seeking meaning at the mental level, through talking, affirmation, or analysis, doesn’t work either, though both emotional release and cognitive understanding can be helpful steps.

True healing takes place at an energetic-spiritual level that reverberates through all time and space and creates fundamental changes in our behavior and raises our frequency. It is worth all it takes to get there. It affects not only us, but ripples out to all involved and to all with similar patterns, so that we become world healers.

To listen to and read past conversations with Elisa Novick on Planet Waves, plus her articles, please use this link. You’re invited to visit her website and Facebook page.

Elisa Novick, MSS does profound work as a healer, teacher, counselor, coach, minister, and facilitator of workshops and trainings in personal, professional, and spiritual development. She can assist you to clear personal, karmic and genetic patterns that have limited you and teach you exquisite attunement skills so you can become the magnificent master of life and Light that all of us are destined to be. Elisa has been assisting people in their growth since 1982 through her counseling practice and in facilitating over 1,000 workshops in holistic health, human development, family constellation, systemic constellation, organizational dynamics, planetary healing and spiritual awareness. You may email her directly at elisanovick [at] thrivingplanet [dot] org.

6 thoughts on “Unfreezing Time: Healing From Trauma and Abuse”

  1. Thank you all for your response to these words. Here are a couple of comments:

    Brian: While I can’t speak to your experience directly without personal communication with you, it may be that the difficult feelings you had were a cleanse, as the aspects you mentioned were flushing things up to the surface to be released (usually not comfortable). I can say that change is ongoing. We are in the web together. The reason I have been with the same small group of trees for 11 years is that the quality of our interaction is always transforming, going higher, greater intimacy, insight, mission, new developments. Never boring!

    Lizzy: When I wrote this, my partner had just reminded of Art Spiegelman, both of whose parents were in the concentrations camps. Much of his work, and especially Maus: A Surviver’s Tale, were based on his father’s stories. His mother committed suicide 23 years after surviving the concentration camp and he himself had a nervous breakdown.

    Jinspace, awordedgewise, and DivaCarla: Beautifully said. I love the way you bring forth various elements of what I wrote. It feeds back to me differently, bringing in greater dimensionality, just through your reception. And I’m sure other readers benefit by it, as well.

  2. Hi Elisa,
    I wanted to share an experience and get your feedback, if possible, on an experience I had today. In the past I have deeply connected with trees (tree hugging) and gotten a deep feeling of connection to the whole earth and the heavens above. After the solar flare season of 2012 and the Mayan Calendar and all the astro stuff (Pluto-Uranus square et al) I found that while hugging my favorite tree I would feel sick and dizzy-discombobulated. After meditating for 25 years, mostly observation meditation, I have very recently (the last few weeks) been doing heart centered meditation and have noticed now that when I hug “my tree” that I feel a heart connection as opposed to a deep earth and universe connection per se. I’m wondering if the vibrations of trees have changed or is me (or both, or …?). Thanks, Brian

  3. What a wise beautiful message, Elisa. Your healing come from such a deeply spiritual place and at the same time is so *logical*.

    A very long time ago it occurred to me that if I couldn’t change the circumstances of my life – past or present – I *could* shift my perspective of them. How liberating! By learning to see things through a different lens (which is the real work!), I did in fact effect change. A past event or present situation was suddenly not the thing it had been before; I had literally altered history, and could take away a different lesson or meaning from the experience.

    It’s not a one-time deal; I find myself analyzing challenges this way over and over again – though not until I’m spiritually ready to, and sometimes that can take years. Shifting perspectives, looking at roles and reasons differently, doesn’t suddenly make everything rosy, but it’s a valuable and empowering tool that makes navigation easier, and ultimately, all life a more gratifying experience.

    A gentle expression of a powerful life lesson. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, dear Elisa! “This explains how someone can commit suicide decades after surviving the Holocaust” – so this is why both Primo Levi and Bruno Bettleheim killed themselves so many years later, after writing such amazing book about their experiences. It’s finally clear. Thank you.

  5. Elisa,
    Your article certainly (for me) speaks at a critical time. Thank you for the reassurance that traditional therapies are not the final healing as much as temporary relief. I open my heart to learn what can be accomplished at the “energetic-spiritual level” as I know this to be true, only not clear (yet) on what this part of the journey actually is – I seem to be stumbling over myself more often than finding a clear path (to healing). But your words give me strength to keep stumbling forward.
    Thank you.

  6. To me this demonstrates one of the greatest keys to understanding how, when we go into shock in a traumatic moment, we become frozen there. In those moments an essential part of us gets stuck or left behind.

    . . . simply expressing the feelings doesn’t actually change them, though one might experience temporary — even addictive — relief.

    Two stand outs in an amazing article. Thank you so much Elisa. You are a treasure. I so needed to read this tonight, and I am ready to receive it. Blessings!

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