You hear this a lot lately, people describing themselves as being spiritual, but not religious. This familiar moniker is on online dating profiles, overheard at meetups, gatherings and is a general verbal calling card when dealing with people, perhaps, ones you don’t want to deep dive with.
More and more people are distancing a bit from traditional religious affiliations and preferring the, oh, yeah, I’m spiritual, but not assigned to a church, synagogue or mosque. It’s a safe parking space for most folks who are leaning towards the abstract meme “there’s more to life than what we see”, but not quite at the “everything is random and you are a happy accident” polar opposite. It’s a broad spectrum. I’m not sure we even know what spirituality means anymore.
But, where do highly sensitive people tend to congregate? Because of our sensitivity we are more likely to be more spiritual (inwardly focused) and due to our heightened sensory awareness we gravitate towards spiritual ritual for some peace and quiet. Let’s do a little exploring on this spirituality thing for HSMs.
As a species we have always strived to connect with the cosmic thread, driving the urge to connect with something greater than ourselves. From an instinctual, survival perspective, I’m not even sure this urge is essential to continuation of our tribe, but, nevertheless it still persists almost universally.
At its essence, it’s not even about connecting with other souls, but rather a connection with the infinite, tethered at one by our longing to connect and at the other to the omniscient and infinite -- a lifelong path that ends in our reconnection to the infinite.
So, we create religions, a man made construct, and embrace philosophies to help us obtain this link with the dimension of spirit. As humans we look for connection and confirmation to our abandoned status in the physical arena we call life. We reach out to our “good books” and religious leaders and institutions for that guidance. They sometimes help, sometimes deflect, and sometime obfuscate the matter. But do we really need them?
HSPs, we know, are always turning inward for guidance, rest and regrouping. We are naturally drawn to the contemplative life, but does that make us more prone to being spiritually attuned? We seem more intuitive and are more open to internal inspiration than most and rely more heavily on our own internal receivers to drive our thoughts and behaviors. Does that deep connection create the environment for a richer spiritual life? And if so, are HSPs also likely to be spiritual leaders?
How many of the great spiritual teachers were HSPs? If you look at the big three, Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad, examine their lives and read their philosophies, you will see elements of what one would consider to be thoughts similar to what one would expect from a sensitive, compassionate, and contemplative individual. There was also an emphasis away from the teacher and more focus on the teachings. Each came to bring the fold pack into the spiritual pen, so to speak.
Looking at today’s spiritual landscape, it would seem that some of the most profound spiritual teachers are men and women of high sensitivity. Some of these spiritual leaders move towards the more esoteric and often borrow from multiple doctrines with an emphasis on loving compassion, acceptance, tolerance and hope. These are all principles that resonate with HSPs, which is not to say that all HSPs are potential great spiritual leaders or that all HSPs are further along the spiritual path than others, but as a whole we tend to lean into spirituality naturally.
We are made and equipped for spiritual journeys. We as HSMs are looking for our path to follow, maybe more so than other non-HSP men. It may be a trait more than a calling. With that said, being able to easily look into the spiritual mirror does not always mean the image is any clearer for us. We need to be seekers and acknowledge that quest for meaning.
Starting a spiritual path, if you haven’t already done so, is an important step for HSMs. The path is of your choosing, whether a strict religious path or a loose and evolving spiritual path, addressing this element in your life, complements the other work we HSMs need to do (body, mind, etc.).
What can HSMs do to explore their spirituality?
Thanks for dropping by, until next week…
Bill Allen lives in Bend, Oregon. He is a certified hypnotist and brain training coach at BrainPilots.com. He believes that male sensitivity is not so rare, but it can be confounding for most males living in a culture of masculine insensitivity which teaches boys and men to disconnect from their feelings and emotions. His intent is to use this blog to chronicle his personal journey and share with others.