Part Two: My HeartSync experience, including The Dream.


Watching the sunrise off the back porch of the main building.

Part One described how HeartSync works and the theories behind it, so I won’t get into that much in this post, which is more about my personal experience.

This post describes the intense cathartic experience I had on the second full day, so there’s no need to describe that again.  However, that experience–which was both excruciating and awesome–opened me up to some odd and wonderful new discoveries about myself to come in the following few days.

First of all, the place where the HeartSync seminar was being held, at the Aqueduct Conference Center in Chapel Hill, NC, reminded me of a classy sleep-away camp.     It was basically a compound tucked deep in the woods consisting of a large rustic main house  (with all the modern conveniences) where all meals were served and where the bookstore and offices and general recreation areas were located;  and two smaller “cottages” each with a large living room with a fireplace and a kitchenette.  Each cottage (which were quite large) could house up to 16 people.    Gravel walkways connected the buildings to each other and also to the parking lot down at the bottom for easy access.

aqueduct1 aqueduct2

There were four full days of training, starting on Monday morning at 9 AM after breakfast and ending at about 5 PM.  Lunch was served at 12:30 and was for an hour.   The food was excellent, much better than camp food (in spite of the camp-like feel of the place).

I was nervous about meeting Kate, the woman I had never heard of until two weeks previously, who first told me about HeartSync and so kindly offered to pay for me to attend.


Knowing she was more well off than I was made me afraid my feelings of envy or inferiority might be triggered or get the best of me again, but what happened was only some slight envy that nearly disappeared by the last day.  Kate and I got along great and she seemed to like me as much as I liked her, and even told me so.  (That gave me a little more confidence about associating with people who “I perceive” to have more than/be more “successful” socially or financially than I am.)


Each day was divided into two parts:  Learning, in which we read over the materials, watched audiovisual presentations, and listened to Father Andrew Miller (who developed HeartSync) lecture.    He’s a riveting and lively speaker, who is very good at engaging everyone’s attention.

The material is emotionally intense and can be very triggering (as well as extremely spiritual and often you feel touched or moved by the presence of the Holy Spirit) that it’s easy to get emotional even during the “classroom lecturing.”   Even though I didn’t actually get “HeartSynch’d” (there are separate seminars for those and there are people trained in this who can work with you individually), it’s still extremely powerful stuff and you walk away a changed person with a whole new insight into yourself.

There are exercises you are taught (such as the Immanuel Approach) and other prayer methods that you can do on yourself that help you release trauma and re-synchronize some of your “core parts.”   I was shocked by how well these techniques work, but I think the spiritual aspect and connection with God has a lot to do with that.     You have to be careful though.   A complicated resynchronization or a full self-resynchronization should never be attempted without a trained practitioner present.

Each afternoon after lunch, we’d gather back in the meeting room to watch a live demonstration (for a total of four)– a “guinea pig” was picked out of the group to be given a 2 hour live Heart Sync session by Father Andrew.   They’d both sit up in front in comfortable armchairs, and Father Andrew would start asking them questions.   It was fascinating to watch these; they were just like watching therapy sessions, which of course they were–only Jesus was invited in to intercept between the “client” and the therapist.


View of the back porch of the main building at sunrise, looking back toward the building.

Two men and two women got to be guinea pigs (I didn’t because I didn’t sign the list to volunteer — I’m nowhere near ready to be given therapy and possibly cry in front of 50 people!).  All four had emotional/cathartic breakdowns (intense crying), followed by a feeling of cleansing/healing/lightness, and even laughter.   Their faces changed from the beginning to the end, seeming to attain a sort of inner glow .  In two cases they appeared years younger.  Certain of their issues were resolved, and their faith in God was strengthened too.

Watching these was both fascinating and emotional.   I found myself becoming extremely empathetic, feeling the emotions of these four people as if they were my own, laughing and crying with them.    That’s never happened to me before.    But that all happened to me after my own emotional meltdown, which is described in the linked post in the second paragraph of this post.



Sunrise on the last morning, just before leaving to return home.   It was like leaving summer camp.

The last night, which was Thursday, was not followed by dinner as usual, since so many people were going home that night (Kate and I stayed through until Friday morning since I cannot drive at night) but was followed by an outdoor liturgical service held on the large back porch of the main building, in which Communion was given.   Hymns and camp-like worship songs, and a few Christmas carols were sung,  and a lot of people hugged and tears were shed.   By then, I was pretty much out of tears and my eyes remained dry.   But the whole feel of the event reminded me of those poignant last nights of summer camp, when everyone is singing camp songs around a crackling fire, there’s a crisp undertone of fall in the evening air,  and there’s an unspoken knowledge that you may never see any of these people again once they load onto the buses or cars that will come for them first thing in the morning.

These kind of moments–where our paths cross briefly but intimately, like passengers at train stations or airports who confess their most cherished secrets to each other precisely because they are basically strangers who will soon be on opposite sides of the country or even the world and will never meet again — are always so lovely and bittersweet.

Afterwards, Kate, me, and three older attendees (who are all HeartSync practitioners in the Chapel Hill area) went out to a nearby Mexican restaurant in Carrboro.   I didn’t contribute much to the lively conversation; I was too exhausted, and when we returned, I conked out very soon after getting back to our room.


The Dream

I woke up from a dream this morning which did not fade away upon awakening the way my dreams normally do.

It started with me finding myself at my own wedding.  I wasn’t sure who the groom was, and I remember feeling slightly apprehensive about this second marriage (having been married to an abuser in my first one).   I don’t remember if the groom had a face–I couldn’t even identify who he could be — but I was going through with this and was nervous and only slightly excited.

I looked down at my shoes under my white skirts and noticed they were black.  I took them off and put on a pair of white shoes.

Then I met my guests, including a sour-faced school-marmish looking woman who looked me up and down disapprovingly.   She looked like she’d been sucking on Atomic Fire Balls or lemon wedges without sugar.   I didn’t know who she was, but somehow I knew I knew her intimately and she was a very important guest.   Her cooperation meant everything.

I asked her why she looked so disapproving.  She just said she never liked me much or thought I liked her much, and was afraid that this time, we still wouldn’t get along because we hadn’t gotten along the first time.   (I’m not sure what “this time” or “that other time” referred to but I think it means “now” and “before I changed.”)

But she reluctantly agreed to try, and I remember shaking her hand and feeling its papery, cool, callousy skin.   She wasn’t the type you’d hug, but her agreement “to try” meant the world to me and meant I could get on with this wedding.

My Interpretation.

I think the emotional release I experienced on Tuesday prepared me for this dream, which I think involved one of my main Guardians (the disapproving school-marm) agreeing to change their role in my life from one of negative judgment to a more positive one, but who was not able to do this until after a lot of the corresponding childhood trauma behind that Guardian’s creation  (abandonment, feeling inferior, unworthy, and incompetent) was released.   I think this Guardian is the same one I previously called The Judge.

This Guardian’s role in my life had been to defend me against having to take risks that might lead to me feeling the pain of failure or rejection.  She did this by criticizing my competence or just throwing out all the negative reasons why such a thing shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. She was basically an internalization of my mother’s nagging, disapproving voice.  This Guardian was negative, judgmental, punishing, disapproving — an old lady with a pinched, mean face — generally not someone anyone would like much.

When I released all that emotion on Tuesday, it had been triggered by old feelings of worthlessness, incompetence, and the certainty that I would be eventually rejected by everyone, all coming to the surface at once.    The emotional release lessened the charge of the underlying trauma just enough to allow the presentation of this Guardian (in the dream), who had already kindly stepped aside long enough for the underlying trauma to be released.  Now she was finally showing herself to me, and agreed (although reluctantly) to try to cooperate with me in this “new marriage”, which I think represents a merging of one part of myself with another.  (I’m not sure which parts though).

The changing of the black shoes to white ones seems obvious enough – changing from a dark and negative way of thinking to one with more lightness and joy.   Also “being in the shoes of” a person about to merge with someone else for life.  But that other “person”–the one I was marrying– seemed mysterious and unknowable.  But the disapproving Guardian provided a clue:  by deciding to cooperate with me “this time,” this seemed to mean she would try to stop being so critical of me (remember, she had told me we never got along).  This seemed to indicate to me that this Guardian was about to “flip her role” from one of negative judgment to one of wise discernment; that in my new marriage (to myself) she would stop being so critical and making me afraid to take any risks, and instead allow me to proceed forward and take a few smart risks, heeding her wisdom instead of her fear (the wisdom of better choices being made possible by faith in God). So the “other me” that I was marrying is the more competent, functional, confident Me who isn’t afraid to take some calculated risks, which includes reaching out more to others without fearing judgment, derision, or rejection.

Maybe Trump’s election is the BEST thing that could have happened!


I know what you’re probably thinking.  You probably think I must have finally snapped.  That I’ve given into Stockholm Syndrome and now identify with the enemy.   You’re  maybe even thinking about hitting the “backspace” key,  writing me off as a traitor to my left wing ideals — or at the very least writing me off as a typical unstable, waffling Borderline  who blows hot and cold depending on my mood and can’t stick to my beliefs.

None of these are actually true (though I do feel a little crazy!)

Please hear me out.   It’s not what you’re probably thinking at all.   I still can’t stand Trump.  I can’t stand his personality, his racism, his sexism, his entitlement, his malignant narcissism, the way he insults those who aren’t exactly like him.   Hell, I can’t stand his FACE.  I can barely stand looking at his smug orange mug, his bloated body, and his ridiculous peach-colored toupee.

But more than anything else, I can’t stand his LACK of any real principles or ideals.   Donald Trump is a man who cares about nothing.  He has waffled on everything from abortion to Planned Parenthood to gay rights to roles of women to Obamacare to globalism.    The only thing he seems to have any passion about is keeping foreigners OUT.  And even that could change tomorrow.

Why?  Because Donald Trump is a textbook case of NPD.   Narcissists at his level of malignancy have no ideals or real beliefs of their own, because they don’t care about ideals and beliefs.   Donald Trump has no God; he regards himself as God.  Hell, he even admitted he has never asked God’s forgiveness because he doesn’t need to.   Yet evangelical churches are threatening their congregations with hellfire if they didn’t vote for him.

Although I’m a die-hard liberal (not necessarily a Democrat, more of a democratic socialist, third-party voter type, although I did cave in and vote for Hillary at the end), I can still respect a man or woman who has opposite views to my own, no matter how conservative, as long as they truly believe that what they stand for is right.    If they believe that their ideologies are the best thing for all Americans, even if they aren’t.    I didn’t agree with Ronald Reagan’s or George W. Bush’s policies AT ALL, but I believe that deep down, these were good men, trying to do what was best for the country.   They CARED.  They weren’t promoting their policies for their own glory and fame (or at least not completely), but because they believed in those policies.   So I can respect someone like Reagan or Bush, even if I disagreed with them.

Donald Trump is a man with NO principles, NO real beliefs (except in himself), NO ethics, no true ideology.   He stands for nothing.  He is a man without a conscience, without empathy, who thinks nothing of insulting entire populations of Americans who are different than he is.   He has shamelessly pandered to the Christian right knowing they would vote Republican no matter what (especially when he uses the anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality rhetoric to get those votes), but he himself is not a Christian (although he says he is, I do not believe him).  His actions, deeds and words are anything but Christian.    Donald Trump believes in nothing, except perhaps, that he is the Second Coming.

Psychiatrists have broken their own rule to never diagnose anyone they haven’t met in person and given a formal psychiatric evaluation.  The media and Internet is abuzz with respected mental health professionals declaring that Donald Trump is a textbook case of NPD.  One psychiatrist even said there was no better example of a high-spectrum narcissist than Donald Trump, who he believes possesses all nine DSM criteria.  This psychiatrist has actually used clips of Trump’s speeches to use in his graduate and college psychology classes to show what someone with a bad case of NPD acts like.

The exciting week ahead and my fears about that.  

On Sunday night, through Thursday, I will be attending a conference in Chapel Hill and Raleigh that will cover Christian principles in dealing with and healing disorders caused by trauma, such as PTSD, C-PTSD, DID, and personality disorders.

As I described in this post, it’s truly uncanny how every obstacle I was facing to be able to attend  this conference (and there were a LOT of obstacles — the possibility of my being able to attend seemed very remote) were moved aside.    Donations came out of nowhere.   Even my boss gave me her blessing, even though I have no vacation time coming up.   I’ll even get my lost pay replaced by a kind donation.     I prayed a lot about this beforehand and then suddenly all these obstacles were lifted.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

But I still had a lot of doubts and misgivings.  Even after I researched the program I’ll be attending (HeartSync) and found nothing negative written about it, other worries began to plague me.   I’m socially awkward and shy in person; what if I didn’t fit in?  What if the other attendees (most who are probably more well to do than me) didn’t like me?   What if they regarded me as too low-class, too poor, too shy, or just too weird?   What if they didn’t like my rather shabby clothes, my unstyled hair, my old car, my cheap baggage?

I also admit I felt nervous about staying in a hotel room for 4 – 5 days with a woman I have only talked to a few times on the phone and in email.   What if we didn’t hit it off, in spite of her incredible generosity and kindness?  Maybe she would change her mind about me and decide we had nothing in common.  As someone who has often been disappointed by others and has often been bullied, dismissed, or rejected by other people, I’m hypervigilant and nervous about those things happening, about not being accepted or included.    I’ve been programmed to think this way, and although it’s slowly changing as I begin to like and respect myself more, I still fall back into that way of thinking so easily, especially when I’m triggered.

I decided that instead of holding my feelings to myself, to approach my new friend with with my concerns.   I felt it was better to get all that out in the open and talk about it, than worry and fret that I might be an outcast or not fit in (and then act in ways that might bring on rejection).  I was reassured that this was a healing seminar, with plenty of people suffering from PTSD and other disorders that caused their self esteem to take a nosedive, and there are Christian therapists there to talk to should I feel triggered in any way.


All this was very reassuring, but when my new friend told me she was happy about Trump’s election, I was initially tempted to tell her to forget the whole thing, return her generous donation, because no way could I room with a Trump supporter when I’m still so triggered by his election a few days ago.

But then my friend told me something positively mind-bending.  What she said was something I don’t think I would ever have thought of on my own, but I believe she’s onto something big here.

She said she couldn’t stand either of the candidates (which I couldn’t either) and like many, didn’t vote for either of them.   She assured me she does not like Trump and agrees that he is a malignant narcissist without principles who doesn’t really believe in anything except himself.

Mass education about NPD is the way out of this mess.

But she said that his election was a wonderful thing, because it will–and already is–educating the general public about NPD and malignant narcissism.   As of right now, only mental health professionals and people who read narcissism blogs on the Internet really know anything about this disorder.  Trump is, by default, going to make narcissism a household word–not in the current misguided belief that it means taking selfies — but the true meaning of NPD–a person so damaged they must project their pathology onto others, develop a false self to fool others and puff themselves up, can tolerate no criticism, and attack anyone they believe is against them.

As Trump progresses during his presidency, we are going to witness Trump’s obvious mental and emotional instability as he attempts to fill a role so over his level of experience it’s laughable.  He will almost certainly fail.   My friend believes there are still enough checks and balances to keep him from doing any real damage.   Most narcissists are all talk and no action anyway.   As he blunders about and rants and rages,  we are going to be hearing and reading more and more about NPD and how it was the rise of narcissism that brought this country to where it is and finally allowed its poster boy–Donald Trump–to be elected.

Trump is likely to accomplish nothing except one very important thing: his unstable, borderline-crazy behavior will begin to make people realize that we have sunk so low as to elect a sociopathic narcissist as our president.   That in itself might be a wake up call for us all, and could start the pendulum swinging back toward the support of candidates showing more empathy, compassion, and a sense of fairness and justice, who have real beliefs and care about America and the world.   We are all going to be learning a lot about narcissism.  There is still a lot of ignorance and misunderstandings about this personality disorder.

As the tide begins to turn, and people realize we have elected someone who does not care about anyone but himself,  people will begin to give each other what they hope to see in a leader during other times — compassion, caring, and helping each other.

Education–in this case a worldwide crash course in malignant NPD and its devastating effects when one is allowed to rise as far as Trump has–is what is so sorely needed right now.    Perhaps without Trump’s election, we would never get that far-reaching education and people would remain ignorant.

As depressed as I’ve been over the past several days over Trump’s win, I’m looking at things now in a whole new light and feel completely ready to attend this seminar, which in some way I don’t understand right now, has everything to do with what I just learned.

So excited!


In my last post I talked about an answer to my prayers, that came in the form of an email offering to pay my expenses for 4-day Christian healing program (HeartSync) that runs seminars and helps many people suffering from trauma and PTSD, many who were not helped by anything else, including traditional psychotherapy.   HeartSync is a spiritual therapy based on biblical principles.   I talked to the woman who is funding this (Kate Miller) at length on the phone last night, and we found out a little more about each other, but I’m not really a phone person and I get a terrible signal anyway (probably because of all the mountains here), so the conversation was a little disjointed.    I did get some of my questions answered though, and found out a bit more about how this program works.    I also Googled HeartSync to read some testimonies, but I was tired and didn’t do an in-depth search last night.   I didn’t see anything negative, though.  It appeared to be a legitimate Christian healing program.

Kate and one other person have also kindly donated the money I will need, and it looks like the request I put in at work will also be approved (even though I didn’t get to talk to the boss yet).  So it looked like God was moving a few obstacles for me and that this experience was really going to happen!   But it all seemed so fast!  It was too easy! What if it wasn’t God moving the obstacles? What if something else was doing it?   It all seemed too good to be true–and I don’t trust anything that seems “too good.”   I needed to have faith, but–how does one tell the difference between faith and foolishness?  

Kate had suggested that I put in a request for an entire week off from work rather than just four days.  I was told that the experience would  likely be so intense that I’d probably need a couple extra days (plus the weekend) to process everything.  Hearing that raised my shackles.  Uh-oh!  I felt a little afraid!  What on earth was I REALLY getting into?       Could I get out of it if I needed to?   I was already booked though!    I had to talk to Kate some more and also do some more digging on my own.

I found quite a bit of information, but this one, from a private blog called On A Mission in SF, blew my mind:

HeartSync and Wholeness

By Elise Albert

We recently worked with a woman named Bri (who gave me permission to share this story:)),  who had been cut off from feeling emotions because of childhood wounding. From early on, she discovered that if she shut off emotion and prevented it from having a voice, it would keep pain from being experienced. When she felt an emotion coming up due to heartbreak, pain, etc, she would shove it back down and become numb to the presenting situation. When she began receiving Heart Sync prayer, the Lord revealed that this began when her parents had gotten divorced and brought to light a decision she had made as a child to not feel in order to protect herself from more pain(something she was unaware of until He revealed it consciously). The pain was beyond her capacity to bear at the time, so a part of her had come up with a solution to keep her safe, the only way she knew how— to completely shut off to all emotion forever. But by cutting this off, she was also prevented from experiencing joy and love. But now, God was offering her protection in Himself, healing for the part of her that was wounded in the divorce, and an invitation for her to be able to fully feel again under the protection and safety of the person of Jesus. Since then, Bri is able to fully access and use her emotion in a way that is healthy. She began to experience emotions again, and not just for herself but also for others. As a missionary, she has found her heart has become tender and compassionate toward those she serves, “I feel more pain, but it feels so worth it because I am able to enter into those places of pain with people and really sympathize, where as before, my heart felt calloused. This is compassion!” 

I remember the first day I sat in a training for the HeartSync approach- it felt like the Holy Spirit ran into my inner world and called every part of me to attention, even the parts I didn’t realize existed or had worked endlessly to shove down, and said,

“Hey. I see you. And I’m coming to heal and love every part of your heart that hurts. You were made to be whole and to know the love of God in the deepest parts of your heart.”I’ve come to believe that we are desperately in need of a Doctor for our hearts. Yes, even us Christians who love the Lord and have given our lives to Him. There are always new depths of intimacy and healing with the Lord–it is who He is! We have all experienced our fair share of pain and suffering, and have battle wounds and scars hidden deep within to prove it. We’ve come up with our own ways of self protection to guard against more pain. 

But the most glorious of news, because of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross, those wounds and scars do not have to stay buried deep within us. There is a Healer who wants nothing more than to heal and restore that which was lost! 

The HeartSync approach, the primary heart healing method we use at Linden Tree Outreach, was developed by a man named Father Andrew Miller and it focuses on synchronizing broken and divided hearts first to God and then to each other. With my counseling background, I have often wondered if there is a connection between psychology and Christ-centered inner healing, as I see the value and purpose in both. Wonderfully, there is a substantial amount of brain science correlations that not only support Father Miller’s findings but fuel it (more on this at a later point). 

So how this works: each of us have Core Parts.  Father Andrew has given names to them, to help identify and distinguish these parts. These consist of:

the Function Part helps us function daily (brush our teeth, write, drive, etc.) and believes that knowing certain information about one’s history is incompatible with survival and/or function
the Emotion Part is most closely connected to the pain, depression and trauma we have experienced
the Guardian Part that believes the Emotion and Function parts must be kept apart or the Function will be too overwhelmed to do daily functioning, so is devoted to keep them seperated. 

These Core Parts are universal and part of our creative design, but they were not designed to live in opposition, but instead work together as a team. And they were also created to all be in relationship with Jesus. But because of the fall, we have all experienced varying degrees of trauma and pain which have created desynchronization between our parts and the Lord (meaning they are no longer working in unity), and we are all in need of God to bring restoration to each area of our heart and restore them to their design and function. He does this healing places of hurt and trauma and correcting incorrect beliefs about God and ourselves. 

I don’t know about you, but I am desperately in need of this kind of healing. Our world is full of people who are living in disconnection from God and parts of themselves–just trying to get by–not realizing there is so much freedom and restoration available for them. 


OMG!  THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR!  And now it was here, and all the obstacles that seemed so insurmountable were being moved.  After finishing reading this post,  I just sat there reeling in near-shock but also feeling this anticipation like I’d never felt before, anticipation so intense my eyes filled with tears. THIS…was the next step of my journey.

I immediately banged out an email to Kate.   Here is part of it:


All day my mind kept bringing up these potential horror-movie scenarios (maybe because it’s Halloween?)  — being hypnotized, being drugged, being brainwashed, being taken alone into a little room and feeling scared to death, completely OUT OF CONTROL!  Being re-traumatized in some unknown manner, or getting there and finding out that  HeartSync is something other than what it says it is.    It’s probably just my hypervigilance due to PTSD but it just all seemed too good to be true and that scared me. 

So I knew I needed to do some more digging.    I found quite a bit of information on Google and some testimonials.    Wow, it does sound like exactly what I’ve been searching for.  Sometimes during mass I get a bit teary eyed and definitely feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, but then it’s all over.  It doesn’t really last for any length of time.    For a year, I’ve been in therapy to reconnect with my emotions (many of which I had shut off because they were too painful or I was shamed out of feeling them — as I already described to you on the phone).   It’s helping but it’s a long slow process.   It can be frustrating and of course, it doesn’t address my relationship with God/Jesus, which is shaky at best.  

Although I’m closer to God than I ever was, I often feel disconnected or untrusting of Him too.   Why should I trust God when even my own family could not be trusted?   When He allowed me to spend 25 years with a cruel man who almost destroyed my soul?  Sometimes I feel like he doesn’t listen or doesn’t care.   I question my faith a lot.   Other times I feel God’s presence and love, but as if from a distance.  It’s as if my entire heart can’t handle it or is still partly closed off.    So when I read some of these testimonies — this seems like a somewhat charismatic healing process?–  I started to feel very excited!   A little scared, but scared in a good way and mostly excited.     I NEED to have that intense emotional spiritual experience!   I need to really feel myself being loved unconditionally by Jesus, held in his arms and allow His love to change me.     I think this is the answer I’ve been looking for.