Why Bother With Intestinal Fortitude?
Recently, while kayaking with a friend, she told me I had intestinal fortitude. The term caused me to conjure up all sorts of images. I imagined a pie, or hot dog eating contest, consuming an enormous quantity of food, or someone with a steel gut who can eat anything without any ill effects. But she assured me that intestinal fortitude had nothing to do with how well my gut digested the foods I ate. Instead, it is a term used to describe the gumption, strength of mind or the grit in one’s life.
A History of Intestinal Fortitude
While we paddled through the mild, gentle water that did not strain or test our strength, we reflected with fondness and humor, on those seasons in both of our lives that called upon our determination, spunk and fortitude.
First of all, for both of us, the marriage relationship with its load of challenges, called for developing a strength of mind that neither of us had as newly weds. Marriage forced us to learn how to respond instead of react to our spouses, and speak our minds instead of remaining silent. We stayed away from doing things we would only later regret and we kept resentment from taking a foothold. We could both recall the times of unemployment, or on the job injuries that caused financial fear and worry to rise up in our lives. But even so, we stared those anxieties down with our gumption.
Who knew that when it came to raising our families, between the two of us, we would encounter infertility, miscarriages and stillbirth. Then, as mothers of teenagers, neither of us fathomed the quantity of courage required to love our young adults regardless of their arrogant and sometimes rude demeanor. Now, as adults, they continue to test our stamina and fortitude. In spite of the current events that threaten to carve an abyss between us and our grown children, our great heartedness convinces us to hold firm to our faith.
Paddling back to shore, we agreed that the circumstances of our lives called for a certain measure of intestinal fortitude. Recognizing this stoutness only causes us to remember with fondness and humor that those things behind us in some way, prepare us for whatever lies ahead of us.
Why bother with intestinal fortitude? Our intestinal fortitude is worth noticing because it is what we need when navigating those rough patches of water we all go through. Without intestinal fortitude, we might find ourselves up creek without a paddle.