The kingdom of heaven is seen only through an open heart, and the only way in which a heart opens is when an individual begins to understand that there’s nothing in creation that can hurt who and what you are… and that the fear that closes the heart is the same as the condition that shuts down the possibility of realizing that lesson. That’s why we have to work as hard as we do — if we’re willing to do so — to see the fact of that. Every moment that you’ve ever had that is beautiful or epiphanous, that’s produced some understanding, it’s because your heart was open. And a heart that is fully opened IS the kingdom of heaven. It embraces everything. It seems like a stretch (and a difficulty at best) to consider that it would be possible for me to sit and have these moments that bring what feels like the push of a problem and to be able to respond with every part of myself with the realization that it’s just something passing through. It has no power other than something that wants to attend to it to make a problem out of it, or to find a pleasure in it, and in that moment the heart shuts down. Fear moves in. Attachment and dependency replaces the possibility of being present to a completely different order of your own being.