Summer time is the warmest season of the year. It's the season that follows spring and comes before fall. It is often used to denote the best times of our life. It is the time of youth and productivity.

Summer has many meanings for different people. It begins with the summer solstice on June 21st or 22nd. This is the time that the sun's ecliptic is furthest north from the equator. In a practical way, it begins with Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) in memory of the members of the armed forces. It ends with Labor Day (the first Monday in September) which is a day to remember labor. In the middle is the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Summer traditionally is the time of vacation from work and from school. It is a time we look forward to all year.

Counseling is a means to add more independence to your life. Many people come to counseling because they are afraid of independence. Many have never had a safe dependent relationship by which to gain strength and faith in themselves to allow healthy independence. Before one can become inwardly dependent, there is a time of outward dependence. This was supposed to happen in our childhood. For many people this was not their experience. They developed a fear of being dependent on someone. They become independent as a fear reaction to being too close and trusting. They may appear strong and independent, but really they are afraid to be close and trusting. True independence is not a reaction out of fear. True independence is the natural growth and evolution which is a part of healthy development. Healthy independence is ourselves. The large "I" usually stands for our ego which separates us from each other. By adding the little "I" to "UN", we produce the prefix "UNI", meaning one. Summer can be a time to unify, to unite, to see the Universal. We can urge ourselves and each other to add the little "I" to all the 'UN" to understand and uplift each other

M is doubled in the word summer There are two of them. Summer can be a time where man can see beyond the mind and manifest the real magic of independence and interdependence. It can be a time of manipulation of the many. That would make it a time of mourning and pain. It can also be a time of maturity when we finally get the message that to maximize what we have and who we are, we all need to be active and participating members. Summer begins and ends with memories. It starts with the memories of those in the military who fought for our freedom. It ends with the memory of labor, the work that we all must do each day to make this world a better place. It is this marriage of the many that makes summer a time of medicine and magic.

E means to educate and to empathize. Too often summer is a time of ego and evil. It can be a time of emergencies brought on by excess. It can also be a time of engaging and establishing a deeper emotional connection with others and with the earth. It is our choice if summer is a time of epitaphs or ecstasy. To be efficient and effective we must emphasize the efforts put forth to enhance the esteem of the entire planet, and everything that exists here.

R is a time to reflect and remember. It can, and often is, a time of rage, racism, and rebellion. We tend to get rejected, then repeat the mistake by retaliating. This reactionary behavior only regresses and restricts us further. It is a time to remember to respond to others as we want them to respond to us. If we do not want to be attacked, we must stop our reactions to attack. If we want to reclaim our relationship with others we must first become responsible and respectful ourselves. The universe will respond to us through what we radiate as our worth. If being unafraid to see the interdependency that we all share. By allowing others to be dependent on them, people see they need and are connected to others. This allows them to be dependent on others through a healthy interdependency. This is the relationship we all share on this journey. We are connected and need each other in many different ways: we each have our part to play.

A technique many clients enjoy is to produce an acronym using the letters from a word. Take the word Summer". It is a way of defining what summer means. Take each letter of the word summer and separate them into s-u-m-m-e-r. Now give each letter a of new meaning with words that also start with that letter. Each person can make up their own words.

"S" is a time to start sharing ourself. It could be a time of stinginess, shame and scarcity. One step towards healing is to begin to share with others who we are and what we have done with our lives. This brings out the secrets we are ashamed of and allows them to be sorted out in the sunlight instead of the darkness of silence. While it is a time of solitude, it must also be balanced with our need to socialize with significant others in our lives. Many people only see the separation in what makes us different from each other. Others will see the shared qualities, we have not only with our own species, but with everything. We are not alone, except in our way of thinking about it. Summer can be a time of beginning to safely share the journey with others in the sunlight.

"U" stands for you. You can decide how to live your life. Our history may be an explanation for who we are, but it is not an excuse to stay unconscious. Look at all the words that start with the prefix "UN". Unavailable, unapproachable, uncertain, unfaithful, unknown, and unnatural are just a few. The prefix "UN" is another way of saying "not". Summer can be a time of getting rid of the "UN" in our lives. This would make summer a time to be available, approachable, certain, faithful, known and natural. The little "I" is sometimes used to denote a higher aspect of your rage at yourself, the universe will respond with more of the same. If what you want in your life is to relax, then remember to treat yourself with respect, and be ready to receive the reality that is reciprocated from that belief. Remember to honor those who have helped us evolve to this point. Also remember that someday, someone will look back on today. Will they rejoice in the part you decided to play this summer?

Summer is the warmest season of the year. The term "the summer of our lives' means these are supposed to be the good days. I hope yours is. Thank you for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey.

Lynn Seiser, MA MFCC, is an internationally respected therapist, trainer, consultant, speaker, and writer in the recovery counseling of ; offenders and victims from violence, trauma and abuse. He can be contacted at: 550 Pacific Coast Hwy. #203, Seal Beach, CA 90740- 4601. (310) 7991371 or email: Seiser

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