So I had this Italian lover… He was lots of fun. A self-named a “diaveletto” [‘little devil’].
This diaveletto taught me about confidence and self-esteem. Including a simple and practical tip which I'll share with you!
Lots of Italians, as I learnt, have excellent self-esteem. Have you noticed this? Many seem to have this way of occupying their bodies, the room, their laugh… So effortlessly.
The denim’d teenagers, the Sophia Lorens, Antonionis, the sassy nonnas… And my lover.
On the other hand, Australians, NZers, English folk and lots of others—as my lover pointed out—can often be a bit more cagey, self-effacing, awkward about compliments...
I wanted to know how the heck these Italians felt so effortlessly comfortable in their own skin. How they have that kind of glow…
I was especially curious cos—given my history of depression and stuff—my self-esteem can always do with a helping hand. When it comes to self-love, I’ve been my own worst enemy!
So I asked my lover what the secret is.
In his Italiano accent, he said,
"In Italy, we cultivate a sense of self-love. A sense that we trust ourselves. And we have, like, a leettle crush on ourselves. It’s cheeky, I know, but it’s love.”
[His accent made “love” sound like “lawv”. Molto carina.]
“I know, I know! I see that!” I said. “But what’s your secret to feeling so confident, to self-love?”
“Well there are a few things,” he said, smirking. “One really simple thing is ‘certo’”.
[pronounced chert-oh, with a rolled ‘r’, like this.]
It means ‘of course’. Literally, ‘certainly’.
My lover said, “In Eee-tah-leee, when someone gives you a compliment on your shorts or something, rather than say ‘oh, no, no, these are just old!’ like you do in Australia, you say ‘certo’. Of course. And that’s it.”
“It’s like saying you like my shorts? Well of course you do! I do too! I have great taste and I know how to put an outfit together. ‘Certo’ is acknowledging that the compliment is true. Of course it is!” he said.
“OMG, that’s so cheeky. And explains so much about you!” I laughed.
Does this actually contribute to self-esteem and self-love though?
Think about it for a second:
We can often be our own worst enemy when it comes to celebrating ourselves. So much of greatness is hidden by… us.
'Certo' is so powerful because YOU claim your beauty. Your intelligence your style. You own it and revel in it. You become your own best friend and champion.
It actually supports a big part of becoming Tantric: becoming your own lover. Which means loving (and admiring!) yourself as if you were your lover.
I chose to get over my judgments about ego and being humble and decided to try using ‘certo’ to see if it could up my self esteem and self love.
Of course I put a bit of my NZ spin on it (I wasn’t sooo audacious to say of course you think I’m great!), but in my mind at least, I was like, “Oh, you like my shorts? Of course you do! I do too! They’re great! I’m great! I think? I mean, yes! I am great!”
For someone who had mega self-esteem issues, ‘certo’ is quite something. You get a little rush from it. From believing that maybe you are smart. Talented. Stylish. Loving. Good at your job. An amazing kisser. A great cook. And YOU get to enjoy how awesome you are.
It’s quite cheeky too, which is fun.
Be a little diaveletto and try 'certo' out this week!
I dare you!
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