As I was meditating today, I saw the image of a Phoenix rising, and I realized that I was that Phoenix. I also heard the word, 'Freedom'. This message is very pertinent to me because I have been remembering to give my cares and worries to the universe, asking my Divinity to help me, and this is a very liberating experience.

But, we are culturally conditioned to be independent and make it on our own. America loves a person who has pulled him/herself up by his/her own bootstraps. The less help needed along the way, the more admirable the path. This is very true in our individualistic society, where the smallest unit is the individual.

By comparison many other societies are collectivist, and the smallest unit is the family. In cultures like these, people expect to be helped and help others in return. People in collectivist cultures are more group minded, and it's not a sign of weakness to ask for help.

So, having been raised in an individualistic culture, when we are troubled by fears, worries, and concerns, we tend to think we need to solve everything on our own. And that can lead to overwhelm and substance abuse, as we feel that we cannot resolve our problems alone.

How beautiful it is, then, to remember that we can call on the Universe, Source, God, The Light, Our Higher Power anytime to help u