The Inner Calling: A Story by Lakshmi Ajoy

Weary and jaded of managing a family with in-laws, spouse and children, my soul was desperately craving for a break.
It was my routine practice to take a break once in a while from chores, to undergo what I liked to call the ‘spiritual maintenance trip’.
These trips had taken me from mountains to valleys, plateaus to plains, rivers, lakes and oceans. However, the most heartfelt destinations were always the mountains.
I was particular about saving for my own trips despite being a homemaker. I made a small sum from what I did out of sheer passion – jewelry designing and art; both activities being self-learnt.
The tiny sum I collected sustained my modest trips across the country to let me explore the unknown, beyond what humans generally experienced. These trips took me to places that helped me discover what others could not; the Self.
My break this time, took me to the mountains of Bhutan. I travelled by train and then by road to reach this place.
Bhutan was filled with the most immaculate scenery with an abundance of flora and fauna. It isn’t a mere accident that Bhutan is the first and only carbon negative country in the world. I experienced blissful serendipity as I explored the depths of the place along with the innumerable Vihaaras.
In the umpteen Vihaaras’ I visited, there were only these fixed set of questions that crossed my mind every time I sat down for meditation.
‘Who am I? What am I? Am I loved? What do I seek?”
The first few times, the mind was blank. Then, I started receiving clarity. The answers became prominent, facades were dropped and the mind was cleared.
The answers were a constant reminder to the self. The inner self responded to each question with utmost simplicity and clarity.
When I asked, “Who am I?”
The answer came, “I’m Love.”
When I asked, “What am I?”
It responded,  “I’m whatever I seek. So seek with care and caution.”
Then I questioned with hesitation, “Am I loved?”.
Pat came the response from within, “Of course, I am loved; loved by ‘Me’— my Oversoul; reflected and fulfilled by my own self.”
Finally, I probed, “What do I seek?”
The response was simple. “I seek clarity; I seek to uplift myself; and remember, all that I seek, is already within me. Learn to love the Self. Accept myself with all my flaws and perfections. The one whom I should love first is the Self because, the self is like an empty vessel. Whatever you fill it with, will overflow. Fill it with hatred, war, jealousy and those attributes will overflow. Fill it with love, peace and abundance, the Universe will reciprocate likewise.”
This vacation was easily the best lesson learnt as I returned home knowing that ‘I am the one whom I love the most’.