The Course talks about how special love covers up special hate.
I always thought of this as though special love is our special relationships, isolated friendships, marriages, etc. ... and that the special hate was 'somewhere else' in some unconscious realm or whatever.
But both the special love and the special hate live within ourselves, simultaneously, as sort of different compartments of the ego mind.
The only reason the special hate seems hidden or unconscious, while the special loves seems to be out in the open, is because special love equates to the persona, and special hate to the shadow.
As you choose to use the "persona & shadow" - a package deal, ie the ego, you highlight and emphasize the stuff in the persona and attempts to condemn and hate the stuff in the shadow. The persona represses and denies what it doesn't approve of, so it 'seems' the special hate is hidden
But especially when the 'terms' of the special love/persona are not met, it being just a part of the ego, the persona facade of is often 'taken off', and instead the underlying hatred is revealed. The shadow.
In the shadow, there isn't a facade of covering things up or hiding things or so much in terms of denial and rejection. In fact, it seems that the shadow is quite 'raw'. In a sense, it is in some ways more honest than the persona. It doesn't pretend to like something - but it does retain a hateful attitude which ultimately is also dishonest.
This is what they mean when they say the ego can go from suspicious to vicious. In the persona the ego is suspicious. If the persona is violated, it goes away and the claws come out.
But the claws are really just the 'hurt' parts of the total self that were attacked, when you chose the persona. So it's like, you put parts of yourself into a 'good box' and put other parts of yourself into a 'bad box'. It seems that the 'bad box' is the parts of you which are now attacked, wounded, unconscious, denied and hated. So that part of you is not getting a whole lot of love in that way.
But also, the persona, while appearing to be the opposite of that, is also really an attack on the total Self. The persona may 'appear' innocent, a hero, someone's savior (in an ego way), a fixer, a people-pleaser or whatever, someone you would not be suspicious OF ... but it too is really not your authentic self.
It is a protective, defensive, rejective, deflective shield, that covers up your real Self. And using it also strips you of power. You become weakened through it, because the idea of focusing on only certain aspects of Self is an attack, an attempt at separation. It attacks your wholeness, which is where your strength is.
Your real strength is in being whole. Being all of yourself without judgement or condemnation. Being who and what you are, without putting on a fake show or being dishonest in any way. Just representing your real self. Representing God. That Self doesn't need any help.
That Self is not interested in or in NEED of any of the 'services' that the persona seems to suggest it's going to give you. Again, what the ego tempts you to believe it will do 'in your favor' (the persona), actually ultimately attacks you and leads you in totally the opposite direction (pain/shadow).
So it's not so much, that you need to bolster up your persona so that you are stronger and can be more confident. It's that you need to stop using personas altogether, so that you can return to being your natural, full, consistent, honest self, which is FAR more powerful and fearless and does not suffer from any of the neediness or suspiciousness or defensiveness or viciousness that comes with using the ego.
So it all eventually boils down to.... do you use the ego, or do you unmask yourself and be real.