ANCHOR Suicide prevention lesson 3 - life has meaning main image

We haven’t set off yet and notice that the sky is clear with seemingly perfect weather.

—Outward Bound background—no cell phone, dropped off there and stuck for 27 days. Sink or swim—had to survive. Mostly all Army guys—special forces—Rangers, paratroopers. Even the cook served in Vietnam. Could only bring myself—the power of the personal. Learned their names fast, was real to them—never cussed out or had an issue with any of them—they saw me as an ally, I hope I was a life preserver to encourage them not to sink. They had to face many challenges in the program to help them learn they could face challenges at home.

A ship is always safe at shore, but that’s not what it’s built for

—I had an elderly neighbor with severe anxiety who never left her house and would even run indoors when I would wave to her. Another neighbor had lived next door to this house for over 30 years and told me, “I think she’s been hiding a son in there all these years.” I thought this was a ridiculous rumor, but sure enough when this woman passed away, suddenly a bearded middle-aged man appeared leaving at night in the car that before only her husband used. He is still living there using his Dad’s money as a retired veteran which is hardly enough for them both to survive. This man has no skills to survive life out on his own. His ship has still never left the shores of his home.

There is a story of a man who spent many years of his life building a boat. He worked so hard on the outside of his ship making it look beautiful. His best materials were used to be sure his ship stood out from the others in the harbor. But, he did not work on being sure the foundation had the best materials for it to be seaworthy.

Seaworthy means the ship can stay together in any conditions at sea. Well, finally, when he left the shore in his ship, it sank quickly when faced with just typical waves further out in the ocean.

What kind of foundation are you building? Most of the world’s values have to do with the outside of the ship. Social media and success are all based on the outside of your ship. Ask yourself what success looks like to you and that can be a clue about how strong your ship will be. It’s ok to want a certain car (I got my favorite car once) or have dreams, but know that’s not who you are. It’s just the outside of the ship.

The fact that you’re in this room, tells me that you’re still showing up to live life. You’re working on building your ship.