Vincent Van Gogh was a famous artist who had colorful paintings as well as a colorful mind. This influential man struggled below the surface with depression. Most people probably know him as the artist cut his ear off and gave it to his girlfriend but there was so much more to him. One day, he had mentioned the idea of drinking bright yellow paint because he thought if it was bright and a color associated with happiness that he himself would be a happier human being. However, many are confused with this idea because paint is not something to be consumed — it is toxic and can even kill you, so why would someone even have the logic to intentionally allow toxic things into their bodies and their lives?

Why is this being mentioned now? Well, for me, this is the first time hearing about it I saw a little blurb about it on Twitter and I couldn't agree with the idea more, so I felt I had to dedicate more time to think about it and even expand and hope to share the idea with others. As ridiculous of an idea it is, I almost want to side with Van Gogh with this one. You see, the idea is actually crazy to ingest something so toxic that could kill you, but we need to focus on his thought process behind it. Van Gogh thought by adding something negative to his life that it may have some sort of positive aspect onto his life. For those of you who are still confused why someone might think of this, reflect on your own habits you do to make you happy.

Many things humans do today to make themselves happy are indeed toxic. people ingest things like drugs and alcohol routinely to get a buzz or a high to forget things or to relax or as something “to take the edge off.” But are they really taking your pain away? Some people like the taste, the burn of smoke on their throat or the thrill of taking a shot of alcohol and another and another. These things are being used as tools to help people forget momentarily about their troubled past or current conflict that they can’t own up to. These are real things that people are spending money on daily and abusing and cycling their life over and over experiencing the same pain and maybe even bring more toxins into their lives after the fact. That’s why there’s relapses and hangovers maybe they’re god’s little reminder that these things are indeed temporary and too much of a “good” thing will bring bad after tastes.

What about the toxic relationships people are in?

You can be so hooked on someone, you may think they’re the best person alive and that you might not be able to live without them, but what if they were really tearing you apart? It can be hard to admit someone you love is not the best person of course because you only see good in them, but what if this person wasn’t the best person for you. People can be toxic to you too. Some people are blinded by the attention they are receiving and think the good overlooks the bad in relationships but in reality, the bad really just is being forgotten and while it is, it is piling up. Why else do girls stay with their cheating boyfriends — because they love them and they are able to overlook the mistakes they have made. Why else do some people in relationships apologize for the other’s mistakes? Because they believe love is built on compromise.

What about the humiliating things we do every day to fit in?

High school is the perfect example of this. There are cliques all around us and the pressure is on to find the exact group in which we fit in with. In my opinion, there isn’t always an exact spot for everyone, there isn’t a standard set group for individuals who are completely different, unfortunately, that’s what high school is all about. We push ourselves to be like others and want to alter our own lives to fit in. This, too, is extremely toxic. It is so unhealthy to give up on our own dreams because of the fear of being judged and because these things may not “fit the norm.” We also do things what others are doing because without them we wouldn’t fit in, this could be things like drinking alcohol, gossiping, name calling, anything really that makes one uncomfortable and something they wouldn’t normally do without the help of peer pressure. So, why do people who have been humiliated by other continue to associate with these groups? Because it’s cool to fit in. Why do we conform to the norm? Because we are taught it is bad to be different.

You see all of these things are aspects of our lives that we may participate in daily and guess what? They are extremely toxic. If you read some of the questions and thought “yeah why?” to yourself or completely thought the questions were so silly did you think again when you read the answers? Or did you think how you would or how you do handle these situations in your own life? Now put this into perspective. Do you see why Van Gogh might have wanted to drink the yellow paint? Before you judge others for the toxic things they let into their lives, think of why they might be seen as not toxic to them.

Think — do you have any yellow paint in your life?