A Response To Vincent Van Gogh's Drinking Toxic Yellow Paint

A Response To Vincent Van Gogh's Drinking Toxic Yellow Paint

There's a reason we hold onto these toxic things.
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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?

Cover Image Credit: Vincent Van Gogh

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Don't Rely On Others For Happiness

It's so cliche but happiness does come from within.

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My fatal flaw is that I tend to rely on my friends and family a lot for mental and emotional support and that's not fair to anyone.

I was really unhappy for the longest time. I mean, I was in a relationship, going to work, hanging out with my friends; I did everything a young twenty-something-year-old should be doing but for some reason, I was never happy.

Every quiet moment alone was hard. I avoided 'alone time' at all costs and the best way to do that was to be with other people constantly.

I worked almost 50 hours a week like a maniac. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted that my alone time was just the 7 hours of sleep in my bed. It was easy to keep up the routine when I was motivated to stay busy. I love being busy, it gives me purpose. I didn't realize at the time that I was keeping busy to avoid bigger issues at hand. I thought that by surrounding myself with people I love would help bring my mental health and spirits up -- I ended up dragging others down.

This may sound really crappy and I'm only saying this out of personal experience but being around someone who is constantly sad, unhappy and unmotivated can be very draining and it gets emotionally tiring. Eventually, you just can't handle being around that person anymore.

I was that person.

Sure I was at work doing my duties but my co-workers were less and less enjoying my company and I started seeing my friends fewer times in the week. I came to realize that it wasn't anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better other than my own.
Of course, my friends tried to help. They did the best way they could, by just being there but it is not their responsibility to take care of me. Putting pressure on those who aren't actually trained professionals of mental health is unfair. My friends didn't know how to handle me and when they started distancing, I couldn't blame them because I probably would have done the same.

Self-love comes from within. Learning how to love yourself starts with YOU. You have to motivate yourself to do something different, to go outside, to read a book to learn something new. I realized that my energy and how I carried myself affected the people surrounding me and I wasn't ok with how the situation was unfolding.

I understand that change is hard. Since I am a very routine person, it was extra hard for me to come out of my comfort zone. Once I did, everything started looking up.

Reaching out for help is one thing but relying on others to fix you and your problems is another. It's ok to ask for support, to ask for help when you're lost but be considerate of those you're pulling into your situation. Everyone has problems and dumping yours on someone else's is never ok.

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