Since the beginning of time, men, in particular, have been known to pursue the essential. Be it for sake of nutrition, status, celebration or pride, men have sought that which is desirable and rarely ceased pursuit until that which was longed for was obtained.
As a young woman longing to be pursued, I have often wondered if the men of modern society have lost the desire or know-how to pursue. Like the many beautiful, fierce, strong young women I have the privilege of doing life with, I often wonder, “If we’re told it’s not ‘us,’ now what? May I make the first move if he will not?”
The issue of “can” and “should” the first move be made by the woman speaks to the inherent roles of men and women. If the expectation is that men should pursue, we as women must reconcile ourselves as something worthy for which to be fought. We must return to the essence of beauty, recognizing that whether or not we are asked on a date, we are indeed beauty on display.
I recently switched from kickboxing to ballet, ever the adventurer when it comes to physical fitness. Though both include a heavy load of squats (in this newfound world of mine, they are now called “pliés”), I have discovered a fierceness and strength required in order for graceful dance to look as though performed with no effort at all. These dancing warriors do not mask their strength; instead, they discipline themselves so intently that when put on display, they embody strength and invite us into the beauty and power they so graciously emit.
Women were created to embody beauty that invites. This is much different than sensuality (being “sexy” or “hot” is not beauty’s goal). Beauty is reflected in the ability to be fierce AND grace-filled, strong and kind, bold and willing to listen, confident while intentionally able to give up the limelight for the sake of another being lit.
Beauty in full expression protects and safeguards while inviting others to become that which they perhaps did not even recognize they could be. In a world where men who may not yet see themselves as worthy or strong enough to pursue, we women are called to speak life over them: encouraging them as leaders and protecting their hearts from drama. In this capacity, we are inviting them to pursue even as they continue to learn of the complexities and track patterns of the female heart for which they long.
And what hunter has not had the experience of perhaps losing the trail, being overwhelmed by brush or feeling like giving up altogether? This is where grace comes in and calls us, ladies, to help them navigate the pathway to knowing our hearts intimately while not causing them to feel as though they instead are the prey.
For those ladies who still complain, “But he just won’t pursue,” I invite you into the beauty of this new world. This world allows you to truly become beauty in full expression—learn who you are, why you are who you are and how your strengths and gifts can better those around you. Learn to step outside your
comfort zone, try new things and be fiercely, beautifully bold in those pursuits that grab your heart and bring you and the world around you great joy and freedom in the being. As flowers bend to sunlight, so too will others arise when in the presence of those who are being awakened and made fully alive.
Can a girl make the first move? She can. Should she? Let us consider: Rather than calling attention to ourselves, may we as women move others to awaken to the fullness of life, the essence of beauty and the adventure of living fully alive. Men who have been awakened to becoming that which they were created to be will certainly take notice and lead from their inherent desire to pursue.
For those of us still waiting, let us thrive in the in-between of a world to come.
—Julie Hill, activator and educator at USA Triathlon