Like It, Love It, Accept It
One of the most influential hip hop albums of my life, due to the transitional stage I was in at the time, was Boogie Down Productions’ Edutainment. On it was lyricist KRS-One’s song “Love’s Gonna Get’cha (Material Love).”
KRS-One began the track by stating, “I’ve been telling you all the time, and you know, love—that word ‘love’ is a very serious thing, and if you don’t watch out, I tell you that,” as the hook continues, “Love’s gonna get’chu, love’s gonna get’chu, love’s gonna get’chu.”
The artist proceeded with the song’s introduction by saying before the first verse began:
“Because a lot of people out here, they say, ‘I love my car,’ or, ‘I love my chain,’ or, or, ‘I’m just in love with that girl over there.’ So for all the people out there that fall in love with a material items, we’re gonna pump the beat a little something like this […].”
I admit that inclusion of a human being as a material item was a questionable choice. Considering that the entertainer was 25-years-old at the time the album was released, in the stage of his prefrontal cortex having just become fully online, I can overlook this element of the song.
After going through his meaningful verses, KRS-One finished the track by issuing the following advisement:
“You know, a lot of people believe that that word ‘love’ is real soft. But when you use it in your vocabulary like you’re addicted to it, it sneaks right up and takes you right out. So, for future reference, remember it’s alright to like or want a material item. But when you fall in love with it, and you start schemin’ and carrying on for it, just remember it’s gonna get you!”
Like, Love, Accept
I appreciate how KRS-One differentiated between material and other forms of love. Quite often, I hear people using the word “love” in place of liking or accepting something or someone.
While people far more intelligent that I have defined what the act of liking, loving, and accepting means, I’d like to contribute my simplistic description of these terms for consideration. I find that the words we use are important and I hope my framing herein will be meaningful to the reader.
My simplified explanation of “like” equates to appreciation. I can appreciate or admire a person, place, or thing without wanting it for myself.
For instance, I like the idea of a belief in and advocacy for the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. However, I reject the ideology and movement of feminism.
I approve of a philosophy for balanced roles, though I don’t desire to support the practical application of action which results in disparaging one class in favor of another to achieve balance. Therefore, I can appreciate something without desiring it.
My plain description of “love” relates to desire. Though often conflated with infatuation, lust, and passion, I conceptualize love as an attachment to someone or something.
Even when we aren’t with a person we love, our attachment to or desire for the individual is what people generally describe when claiming to love someone. I expand on this topic in blog posts entitled Desire and Disturbance and Luv(sic).
KRS-One appropriately cautioned of love, “[W]hen you use it in your vocabulary like you’re addicted to it, it sneaks right up and takes you right out.” Attachment in the form of a strong desire to a person, place, or thing can induce beliefs which lead to suffering.
My unsophisticated concept of “acceptance” is akin to tolerance. I don’t need to like or love the fact that mosquitos exist, though I can endure the idea that they occupy the same earth as I.
When working with clients using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I introduce the practice of unconditional self-, other-, and life-acceptance. It isn’t uncommon for people to challenge this technique, because they mistake it for the act of liking or loving.
Stripped of complexity, the “unconditional” element of acceptance relates to a lack of rigid terms or restrictive qualifiers. If I were to say, “I’ll only accept that mosquitos exist as long as one never lands on me,” then that is a condition and isn’t reflective of unconditional tolerance.
Though people may disagree with how I’ve framed descriptions of “like,” “love,” and “accept,” I unconditionally accept the challenge to my views. Regarding the perspective of others, I don’t have to like it or love it, though I do strive to accept it—preferably without conditions.
In so doing, I will disturb myself less by the reality of others having different perspectives than my own. Otherwise, love’s gonna get’cha or like’s gonna get’chu if acceptance isn’t employed as a helpful or healthy strategy.
Perceivably, one could even venture into the unmentioned possibility of hate. Which would you rather have regarding unpleasant people, places, and things experienced in life, dear reader, liking it, loving it, hating it, or accepting it?
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, and hip hop head from the old school, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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