I was reading Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, a self-help guide of sorts to those who find that the world offers just a bit too much sensory input. It is, in so many ways, like reading the manual to myself that I never knew existed.
There's a part in the end when she talks about spirituality and how many HSPs find tend to the spiritual but often outside of organized religion. (check and.... check.) I think about this every weekend, when we tune into the livestream from my kids' religious school (in a religious tradition from my wife). I am an outsider of sorts. I appreciate the music, the sentiment, and all the positive expressions of faith. But I'm detached from it. At first these were fairly pleasant affairs, but in recent months they've devolved into endless tech troubleshooting and arguing with my kids over getting dressed and putting down their other devices while listening to/watching the live stream. It cuts out constantly (fu facebook) and doesn't work at all on some devices. So spiritual breaks have become the opposite of what I tend to need – quiet time and reflection.
It is a constant worry, comfort, tragedy, and comedy to recognize that I probably could have been a decent monk.
Aron's description of HSPs crystallized for me why I can go back to religious services and enjoy the music and the spectacle without wanting to remain part of the flock.
I wonder whether it's the difference between religion and spirituality. Is spirituality different, a connection to nature or the world from a place of quiet and stillness? So spirituality is nature, outside, trees, beaches, water, sky, animal noises, moving through space or sitting quietly and observing the world outside. That seems to be what I crave most, a space for that.