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Ask Dr. Greg
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Here are a few suggestions for vision of ourselves:

Vision becomes unclear when we live ‘externally.’ That is, being concerned about others opinions of us, how many likes and followers we have. This leads to anxiety, depression and emptiness. What would living internally with a clearer vision for our life look like?

A Reset to Being Real

To pursue an authentic life that aligns our external lives with the values of our inner selves, find a place, alone and get a pad of paper and write down your reflections.

  • What is most important in my life?

  • Who is most important in my life?

  • What do I care the most about?

  • Who do I care the most about?

  • Who do I trust the most to share my thoughts with?

The goal is to connect with a deeper part of our heart. Then find a trustworthy person to share your reflections. This reset will provide an opportunity for us to be real with ourselves and with someone trustworthy, such as a spouse, partner or friend.

Here is what a local teen wrote when asked, “What does it mean to be real?” 

“Being real is being authentic and true to your inner self. Staying in touch with your morals and motives at all costs, separates the real from the fake. Being true to yourself no matter who is around or who is watching. Being real in a relationship and in life means honesty in all cases, whether the truth is good or bad. Being real means letting others see success and being authentically happy for someone else. Being real is often hard because some may feel that when they are completely real they are at their most vulnerable. It is important to know that being real is not a sign of weakness but truly a sign of strength.”


Listening is one of our greatest gifts. This means listening to ourselves, too — our thoughts, our heart impressions — and truthfully journaling what we hear from our innermost self.

Listening can deeply benefit our family relationships. Listening to our spouse or partner and being supportive without offering solutions goes a long way in showing we care. Our kids are often desperate to talk to us, but we’re too often too stressed or busy. They need a supportive place to sort out their thoughts and feelings and hear themselves think.

Can we be this person, who clearly sees the need to reset, be real with ourselves and with those dear to us and listen openly to those we care the most about?

To paraphrase Psalm 46, “Stop! Cease striving and know there’s a better way."

Dr. Greg Allen, founder of Freedom4U, is a Licensed Therapist practicing in Palos Verdes Estates.

Dear Dr. Allen is an inviting column that provides thoughts and advice to parents, teens, and families as a whole.


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