Should you listen to your heart?

Deceptions of the Heart is now only 99¢

How many times have you heard the phrase, “Listen to your heart,” or maybe someone has suggested, “Follow your heart?” How many times has the heroine in the tear-jerker romance been asked, “What does your heart tell you?” Well what if the heart beating in your chest once belonged to someone else? Is it still a good idea to follow your heart?

There is a theory called cellular memory transfer that suggests human cells contain information about personality, preference, and personal history, details about the essence of a human being. Most of the evidence for these phenomena comes from the anecdotes of heart transplant recipients.

Here is one story that I found particularly fascinating. As reported by Paul Pearsall in his book, The Heart’s code: tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy, published by Broadway Books in 1999.

“An eight year-old girl, who received the heart of a murdered ten year-old girl, began having recurring vivid nightmares about the murder. Her mother arranged a consultation with a psychiatrist who after several sessions concluded that she was witnessing actual physical incidents. They decided to call the police who used the detailed descriptions of the murder (the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him) given by the little girl to find and convict the man in question.” Source

Most accounts of cellular memory transfer aren’t as extreme. Usually transplant patients adopt the donor’s habits or feel their emotions. They like what the donor liked. Cut their hair the same way. Marry someone with the same name. They develop hobbies and interests similar to the donor—care about things the donor cared about.

I love asking “what if” questions. What if the concept was taken to the extreme? What if a recipient changed so much the person’s entire personality was altered?

In the 1991 film Body Parts, a criminal psychologist loses his arm in a car crash and becomes one of three patients to have their missing limbs replaced by those belonging toan executed serial killers. Well, you can imagine what direction the plot line went from there.

The inspiration for my book, Deceptions of the Heart, came from asking the same type of “what if” question. What if someone woke up one morning in another person’s body? What if a woman received not only a new heart, but also all the memories and the personality of the donor? What if the transfer was so complete the woman didn’t know anything about the woman whose body she inhabited?

Here’s an excerpt from the book at the moment Rhonda realizes she’s not inside her own skin.

Hysteria insinuated its warped fingers into the convoluted whorls and ridges of my psyche. Tears welled in the corners of my eyes, but I swiped them away. I clawed at the flimsy lingerie that threatened to slip from my shoulders as if it was eating my skin, pulled the top over my head and threw the offending garment on the floor, leaving my upper body exposed. My eyes traveled down my torso. A rough trail dissected the middle of my chest, right between the ribs. I stared at the oddity, fascinated, horrified, and perplexed. My nail traced the scar. The surgery was months, maybe years, old.

I ripped through the room until I found a huge walk-in closet full of women’s clothing. Row upon row of shoes were arranged neatly on the floor, handbags lined the top shelf. The Fendi I’d been gazing at for weeks lay toward the back of the stack as if it were yesterday’s toy. My shaky hand snatched open the nearest drawer filled with every accessory imaginable. I slammed the drawer shut.

I borrowed a matching shirt and skirt. With another woman’s clothes on my back, I dared to look into the full-length mirror. I tensed. Someone was in the closet with me. I touched my cheek. She touched hers. I blinked, she blinked. The face reflected back at me wasn’t mine, yet there I stood, facing the mirror, gazing at my own reflection.

I stuffed my hand in my mouth and dropped to the floor. Every hard thing I’d endured in the past few months came barreling out of my tear ducts, cascading down my cheeks, falling onto someone else’s expensive couture. I rubbed the unwanted moisture away with the flat of my hand, then closed my eyes and forced them open again. Nothing changed in the interim.

I hope you enjoyed this snippet of Deceptions of the Heart. The book is available from


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