year two thousand seventeen of the Common Era was a very difficult
one for me, even as it was a year of healing and introspection.
Various aspects of my health are in decline, including my mental
health. Yet, starting medication for my mental illnesses and taking a
depression management class have helped greatly.
does this have to do with Echo and Narcissus and why do I call them
Saints? Various reasons.
of Echo’s story was that she was yet another mortal woman seduced by Zeus. Some translations
use the word “ravished” which in modern times is often equated with “rape.” When Hera came to question Echo,
the mortal told the goddess long stories to distract from from her
pursuit of Zeus. Echo was covering Zeus’ escape, it seemed. Hera
cursed Echo so that she could only speak the last few words she heard
another speak. This was how Narcissus was caught staring at his own
reflection. She’d fallen in love with him and wanted to speak to
him, but was only able to repeat some of his words back to him. As a
result, he was tricked into falling in love with himself.
in this tale we have a randy, powerful being seducing someone who really
didn’t have the power to say no. And unforgiving wife struck out at
the target she could reach and as a result ruined at least two lives.
Echo, I see those who are used sexually and don’t report for fear
of backlash, yet backlash struck her anyway. In Narcissus, I see
those who have learning disabilities, mental illnesses, or some
combination of both, and who can be very literal in their understanding of language.
They can be led, by accident or by design, to self-destruction or
modern times, people use the phrase “echo chamber” to deride
those who are unwilling to the voices that speak out against them.
Sometimes, this phrase is used to shame the marginalized for creating
safe spaces. The word “narcissistic” is often wrongly used to
describe persons whose self-esteem has grown to the point where they
aren’t willing to take the abuse that’s so casually given to
say, we should build our echo chambers! We should surround ourselves with those who
don’t speak ill of us. We know those other voices are there. We
can’t escape them. But in creating our echo chambers, we can give
ourselves a certain measure of peace from those who hate us.
say, we should fall in love with ourselves! We should fill our minds with thoughts of
self-worth, because we know there is no shortage of those who hate
us. If our self-worth causes them to be angry, then perhaps it’s
not us who are medically narcissistic.
Echo, patron saint of the used, frightened, and misunderstood!
Narcissus, patron saint of learning disabilities and mental
and Blessed be!