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.
285
views

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

Popular Right Now

I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

18822
views

It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Ways God Overwhelms Me with his Love

God is a good, good Father

589
views

God overwhelms me with His love all the time. But usually, I have been noticing I am not looking at the world with my eyes or ears wide open. Sometimes, I get too concerned with the chaos instead of the beauty of the world. The important thing I must remember is God is bigger than any darkness in the world - and these main seven ways help me remember how gorgeous it is to believe in our Good Creator.

1. Scripture

Scripture speaks to my heart in a way that people, song lyrics, and nature cannot. Scripture is known as the living word of God, and it's true. It calls me to reflect in a deeper way about myself, and even if that self-reflection isn't a fun activity, I am somehow filled with peace while reading scripture. I really like Sirach, Hosea, and James.

2. Friends

We are not meant to be alone on this earth - we are called to community, and God really speaks to me through my friends, especially those who are striving to know and imitate Jesus Christ. It's great to hear someone else's perspective on life and how to approach a situation differently. I trust my friends to give good advice, and they usually don't let me down.

3. Music

I really like music. When I am in silence, usually a song pops into my head. Lately, I've been trying to fill my mental soundtrack with Christian music. I know this is a cliche but Christian songs speak hope and life into my life in a very special way - and usually, the lyrics inspire me to keep up the faith amidst all the struggle.

4. The Sky

The sky is God's canvas. It can be moody, dreamy, or blank. It's amazing to see weather light up my night with lightning and storms OR lull me into a peaceful reflection with bats darting across a starlit sky in the garden my campus ministry has. The sky is so cool, but I don't appreciate it enough.

5. The Wind

In my backyard at the house I'm renting this summer, I sometimes chill out in the hammock. It's a thin little net looking thing, and it's my favorite spot in nature. I get comfortable and look at the tree limbs and leaves above me get blown by the breeze. It's so amazing to see the leaves light up different shades of green because the wind moves the leaves into different patches of sunlight. The wind also reminds me of the Holy Spirit - this unseen but present force in our lives. The wind is so soothing, I've always liked it and how it can be like a whisper on a spring day, a loud shout in a storm, or a sweet breeze on a scorchingly hot summer day.

6. Passionate People

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who described what their passion project was with you? I have. That person's eyes light up, they wave their hands animatedly as they speak, and everything about them is joyous and optimistic. Passionate people, especially those who will the good of another, are reflections of God's energy and enthusiasm, in my opinion. It's a blessing to see hope and vigor in this too-often melancholy world. Passionate people are the cure for a slow day at the office, know what I mean?

7. The First Christians

The First Christians are inspirations to me. If Jesus can love someone like Paul (who used to murder a bunch of Christians before his conversion), Peter (who was one of Christ's most trusted disciples, but still denied Christ three times), and Mary Magdalene (who had a bunch of demons inside of her and was a prostitute)... well, if Jesus can love all of these people and help them be better-versions-of-themselves, then I'm sure Jesus can love me too. I find their stories, and so many other stories of early Christians, very uplifting.

These aren't the only seven ways God reveals His goodness to me. But when I think of these seven and look for God in these moments, my day is filled with more peace and happiness. I hope this helps you reflect on how God overwhelms you with love because (trust me when I say this), He is giving you all you need - but are you open to receiving it?

Cover Image Credit:

D. Jameson RAGE at https://unsplash.com/search/photos/trees

Related Content

Facebook Comments