I was really struggling with what to right this week, actually struggling with the project over all as life swamps me with other things that demand my attention. Today this idea came to me, the idea that we need to embrace the imperfect in not only ourselves but in our practice also.
I know when I first started this path I picked up my witches bible (In this case Cunningham's Guide for the Solitary Practitioner) and voraciously read through it. And like most I've spoken to who first start this path I ended the book with this desperate feeling that I needed to buy all these props in order to practice the right way. This was the first lesson I learned in embracing the Imperfect. I was 15 when I started this journey, I was living at home and going to high school - where was I supposed to get my hands on an athame, boline, cauldron, wand, chalice, etc etc. It just wasn't possible. Especially when you are trying to keep your path somewhat hidden from parents who wouldn't really understand. So I was saving to purchase what I could and in the mean time anxiously waiting to start this journey and it eventually came to me that the whole scenario was a little ridiculous. If deity was so caught up with having all the trappings then I was on the wrong path, so I decided to improvise, and while I will admit that I have purchased some items since then that were specifically ritualized (athame, wand, cauldron) to this day much of what I use I find at the store cheap and modify to my purposes. My Chalice is a wine glass from the dollar tree store that I then used glass paint pens on. Several of my shrines are terracota pot plant plates that I've painted to reflect the deity/purpose that are great for holding little crystals, incense etc.
The second part of Embracing the Imperfect that I learned shortly after starting to actually practice was that it didn't matter if my words weren't perfect, if I flubbed something, if I forgot a line or didn't follow a script, what mattered was that my intent was there and my heart was in it. I recall in the early days the nervous panic that would set in when you go to perform a ritual/spell, worrying about what would happen if you got something wrong - no wonder little worked in the beginning, my energy was all over the place. One day I had a moment of clarity as it occurred to me that deity had to have a sense of humor. All one had to do was look at the world around us to see evidence of that. So what if I flubbed occasionally, together we'd laugh it off and move forward. If I felt free enough to talk to deity each day about nothing in particular at all surely the relationship could see itself through the odd tongue twister or forgotten words.
Too often we get caught up in trying to be perfect. What is the perfect way to do this, what is the perfect color, what is the perfect scent, do I know my lines perfectly and it actually detracts from what we are trying to achieve. Not only that but when we are so concerned with making sure we are perfectly inline with someone else's ideas (because lets face it that is all those 101 programs etc out there about this path are) than we fail to listen to our own intuition and the messages that might be trying to get through to us.