Just because you put on a crown, doesn't make you a king. Halloween will back me up on this.

Yes. That statement seems clear enough, but when put in the context of our relationships and self-evaluation, it begins to hold new weight.

Just because you give the title lover, friend, or confidant, doesn't mean such words hold their given meaning. The title can very well exist, but the substance of such truths can be evidently lacking. It's that time again...the end of the year. How have I grown, in what ways have I not grown, am I content, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Assessing our lives in terms of success and the ever so elusive fame is far easier. We can sometimes measure those things through superficial experiments.

But what I'm talking about is the substance of those things that we have in our lives. What are they truly made up of? The ingredients. The reality of situation.

I've been facing the reality of all kinds of things in my life as of late. And truly, the truth does set you free. Not to say that it can't be hard to grasp or painful to endure, but the canopy of peace residing over your being is always evident.

It's becoming more and more clear---who I am. And what it is I want. I was never satisfied by wanting or doing something just because someone else had or did it. It's so funny, when you see yourself from heaven's perspective, not only do you see a whole new value within yourself, but passions and desires come into focus like never before. Truth.

Pretending is for those that have not yet let go. It is for those that have refused to forgive and love. It is for those that have a secret life of anger and bitterness. Pretending is for those that do not want to settle into the possibility of glory and true goodness in all situations. Oh, to be content in all ways and in all circumstances. Love.

But one can't fake contentment. And if you try, your conversations and your own eyes will always give it away.

Pretending has a lot to do with exterior posture, but "being", well being is just that. I'm now learning the difference between "doing" something kind, and "being" kind. "Doing" something loving versus "Being" loving. It's quite a transformation. But when it happens it strikes the very deepest chords of our spirit. Freedom.

I've learned, that although, throughout my life, I've thought myself to be brave, strong, and independent, I was merely pretending to be those things. I could do such things without you fully knowing my fakery, but my heart knew. And this year revealed the hidden fears and lies that kept me pretending.

And now, I'm taking my own baby steps in the direction of real truth, love, and freedom. Those are the ingredients of lasting substance. Of which will reflect in my own life, my own conversations, my own eyes.

You will own, what you walk through.

Meaning, the refining process. If you choose to go forward in it, you will be like refined gold on the other side. It will be a part of your DNA. It can't be cloned by someone else--a pretender trying to find the easy way out of a long and arduous journey. But instead, your DNA will be unique and affirming to you. It will bring out the best in you like you've never seen before. And change the atmosphere around you like a new dawn.