The Facade of Perfection, and the Value of Failure

This is what is so admirable. Overcoming adversity, the willingness to be different, a pariah, all for the sake of one’s own values. The willingness to stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it. The people who don’t give a fuck about adversity or failure or embarrassing themselves or shitting the bed a few times. The people who just laugh and do what they believe in anyway. Because they know it’s right. They know it’s more important than their own feelings and their own pride and their own ego.

– Mark Manson

In society, we have an expectation to live up to. We aren’t skinny enough. Not wealthy enough. Often, people feel the need to protect themselves from the masses. Online, we can portray a version of ourselves that we want to be. Egos are protected. This breeds defensiveness. We want to feel successful. Some are so afraid of failure that they never even try.

Being visible in blood drinking communities isn’t easy. As soon as you put your words and thoughts out there, you open yourself up to criticism. We are out there, flaws and all. But the truth is that failure and imperfection is necessary for growth. The lessons of failure go much deeper. I was told by a good friend recently that my stepping into the ‘Vampire Community’ and subsequent ‘med sangs’, it was a train wreck, but one with purpose. Sometimes we don’t know the best step forward. But as we stumble, we push onward. We have purpose, and we find a way.

Feedback helps us to course correct. I have had many failures over the years. But you know what? I would much rather fail than never try and sit on the sidelines. Writing for sanguivores and providing for them is something deeply personal to me. I nearly died from dealing with sanguivory alone as a youth. The betterment of sanguivores is at the core of all I do. It is my passion. It is one I cultivate and that has provided me personal growth in many ways. It has taught me many lessons. My continued pursuit of personal development always pushes me to think of ways to do more. I aim to soon bring the same sort of support offline to a local sanguivore community.

What is your pet project? How can you improve the lives of others?  It is far better to try than to settle for mediocrity.

Lessons I have learned over the last few years:

  1. The only permanence is impermanence. Communities change. What was unacceptable five years ago likely isn’t the same today; separate teaching spaces and physiological sanguinism has more acceptance recently than I have ever seen. Not that it was without growing pains.
  2. The greatest value is in service. I ask myself on a regular basis “how can I help sanguivores? What did I need when I was younger?” and this is my core decision making process. Ego has no place in the service of others.
  3. Hostility isn’t necessary to make a point. Points are best delivered with understanding and kindness. Sarcasm and fighting puts the other person on the defensive. When a counter point is made in anger, it frames the discussion as a fight and everyone loses.
  4. I do not have to share someone’s beliefs to offer practical support or be friends with them. It doesn’t harm what I stand for by being courteous and friendly with those who perceive sanguivory in a different way. This, too, allows my work to reach the most people and so to those who may need it.
  5. Listen to other people and value those who help. I have been lucky enough to have great people helping me establish The Red Cellar and running our Facebook groups. I write. Others are talented at things I’m hopeless at. Listening to those who’ve been there before you or whom can offer a different outlook is important. None of us are perfect and every human mind is biased. Other perspectives create a big picture.
  6. If you aren’t happy, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

This is but a small snippet, but you get the point. Now go and do what you’ve been planning all this time. If you fail, excellent. You’ll have learned how to do better next time.

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