This is at least the third time I have written about sacred symbols and my struggle to compartmentalize this huge part of myself while remaining “professional”.
When I started spiraling, I backed away from COTE, which may or may not have been the right decision, but it’s what I did. In an effort to deal with being a working mom of a young baby, a baby who didn’t sleep well away from home and therefore slept all evening with us before dinner and went to be very early after dinner, a baby who I felt compelled to hold every moment of every day…well, I went to the mom side of things. If he couldn’t go, be it temperature or not fussy baby friendly environment, unless I had to go (work), I didn’t go. I fractured myself into Mama and Me. Over the summer, after a few weeks of being a SAHM, I soaked up the glory in that and started trying to put the pieces back together. Be the me who is a mama instead of the mama who is me.
I sought out pagan mom groups…and came up empty. I knew this would happen as I researched this while trying to get Family Programs at COTE going.
But then I realized I was doing the same thing as before- fracturing myself. Focusing only on pagan me.
Scrapbooking again helped because, while they are family memory books, it is something I’ve done for years before kids and will continue to do after babies. And it had nothing to do with paganism. It was just me.
One of the efforts I undertook in my healing process was the reconnect with the Divine. I felt like I had lost that connection, letting much of my practice slip away in favor of sleep. And yes, there was definitely avoidance and a pity party here and there as well. By re-establishing my connection, I was able to start to put the fractured prices I was continuing to make back together. No more compartmentalizing.
The first step to this was expanding my wonderfully overloaded double Mjolnir to include my Pentacle, the first one I bought at the beginning of my journey and the one that I always find my way back to.
I wore this conglomeration for the majority of the summer, and, despite being a state employee at a public school and previously holding myself to a standard of keeping my personal beliefs outside of work, I wore them back to school. Trial was the group of teacher work days. One colleague took note and commented that the Mjolnir sje first noticed had grown and how much she liked it. Since then, I have gotten other positive comments but no questions and no stares. I’ve worn the bunch to a meeting with the principal as we discussed a sensitive student, with an assistant principal as we discussed room assignments, and with a few parents.
Another decision I made to help with the repiecing myself is to not have “work clothes” and “play clothes”. At least for tops. I will not wear dress trousers outside of work. The tops though, if they’re not comfortable enough to wear outside of work and can’t be dresses up enough to wear to work, then they’re no longer acceptable. I have to stop compartmentalizing everything in order to get back to my whole self.
Two work weeks of this plan have thus far went over well. The first weekend is proving to be a success as well. I am finding comfort in this new outlook. And that’s all that matters.