Maybe you’re like me – a sensitive (some would say oversensitive) soul. Most of my teenage angst revolved around this one central conceit – I cared more about others than they did about me. I spent more time thinking about my friends (and certainly girls) and put more time and effort into relationships than they did for me. And thus, it hurt me immensely when my affections or care wasn’t returned.
The second half of Zetsuen no Tempest made me reflect on my teenage and college years. If it had come out ten years ago, I would have identified very strongly with Hakaze, the Kursaribe princess, whose love goes unrequited throughout the last half of the series. What’s worse is that Yoshino doesn’t choose the memory of Aika over Hakaze – he simply doesn’t think enough of Hakaze to even consider her throughout most of the season.
Yikes. That is what must hurt more than anything to Hakaze. She means so much less to him than he does to her. They say that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but apathy, and in this case, that’s exactly the feeling (or lack thereof) that Hakaze is dealt.
Now that I’m older, I’m still as sensitive, but I don’t feel the pain of “all give, little return” as much. Certainly, much has to do with finding a satisfaction in marriage and maturing out of adolescence. But much also has to do with a changing of my worldview.
When I approach relationships, I try to do as Christ instructed – to love God most of all and love others second. Although I’m far from perfect at it, this change in my worldview – putting myself below God and others – puts an emphasis where I think it should be, and ironically, stirs more love in my heart and makes me feel much better than when I put myself first.
I think in this culture, there’s a real emphasis on leaving a legacy, but strangely enough, this whole legacy idea is inward looking. We want to leave a legacy to be remembered. We don’t want to fade away for our own personal gain. But when I try to establish relationships, it’s with the idea that I probably won’t be remembered by most of these people, not in any substantial way. However, I hope that my time and effort makes some difference in their lives – that I can demonstrate love overflowing from the grace I’ve been shown, and that it might stir something in the hearts of others.
Nowadays, I still feel like Hakaze from time to time – a little bitter and disappointed that others don’t appreciate me or love as much as I do them. But when I think about what it means to love, and what love has been demonstrated toward me, I can blast away that tempest of selfishness, and those I care about are all the better for it – as am I.