As I listen in churches for what is said about love, I am troubled by how rarely we are encouraged to love ourselves. Practically all the sermons and hymns and rituals conspire to deter us from it. What for? Why such avid prohibition, especially since Jesus spoke of loving ourselves in the same breath with loving God and loving each other as the deepest calling of our lives? Maybe it's that loving ourselves is so disruptive to our hopelessness. Maybe loving ourselves leads to "too much" faith, "too many" glimpses of how very different our life together could be — so brave, so just, so thrilling, so joyous that from where we stand now it really does seem too wonderful to believe.

Pat Youngdahl, Subversive Devotions