A friend of mine had a wonderful teacher when we were in school. They were amazing. They were strict and funny and had all of the student’s attention. It inspired my friend to want to be a teacher; which he ended up doing. But he was a lousy teacher. It was the most interesting thing. He was trying so very hard and devoted to the students but he came across as annoying and a bully.
I watched him in his class one day. I knew exactly why he wasn’t succeeding as a teacher. When I observed him, I realized that he was trying to be the teacher that he had in school. He was emulating the teacher who inspired him to be a teacher. He was not being genuine. He was copying the style of the person he admired.
This is the problem with most of the people on a spiritual quest. Since there are very few examples of how to be spiritual, the seeker emulates the one who has inspired them on the path to enlightenment. This sets them up for a similar failure as the young teacher. Spirituality is as personal and diverse as a person’s identity. To emulate anyone perhaps could veer someone of their own course.
It is okay to admire the works and gifts of another. It is okay to even allow them to inspire you to your greatness. But please don’t allow your own genius to be squelched because it does not look like the genius of another. You do you both a disservice. The world needs your diversity of expression and the unique way you shine. Your unique individuality is too important to all those who are learning their own way by observing you.