When weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
The Shadow of Arrogance is formed in a certain environment. Those who own this Shadow usually had parents who somehow made them feel less than perfect or acceptable. This can stem from so many reasons. Perhaps you are female and your mother had preferred a boy. Or you were from an unwanted pregnancy. A little later it might be that you don't emulate your parents' idea of a perfect/good child.
The child might be compared to 'better' siblings or other children. She might be compared to the parent as a child, or even to an imagined ideal.
Whatever the foundation, you sense that you are not good enough, or even more simply, you are not enough.
If the parent feels that the child is wrong/imperfect, they are compelled to set things right. This leads to criticism of the child. But unlike another Shadow that I will write about later, this criticism is not total rejection. The message is, 'I love you but you must...', or, 'I'll love you if...'.
This is a crucial point because from this the child begins to learn that gaining love and acceptance is possible, if they improve.
The criticism might be very harsh with explicit messages such as, 'Why can't you be more like your brother?!', or more insidious ones such as, 'Mummy loves a clever/clean/good girl'.
A very small child cannot intellectualise any of this of course. But a child senses it all. They will sense your own fear of not measuring up. They will sense your anxiety at meeting strangers and wanting to appear perfect. They will sense that you view them as a nuisance or an inconvenience.
We understand now how important it is to separate the behaviour from the child. Children cannot do this so they take criticism or anger as a personal attack and subconsciously question your love for them.
As with all Shadows, you are most likely to develop a Shadow that was owned by your parents. A parent with the Arrogance Shadow is a slave to the judgements of others. So they will want you to behave or excel so that they can show you off. If you are misbehaved or too ordinary or imperfect in their eyes, you are a reflection of their own imperfections - and this they can't allow. So more criticisms follow, or resentment.
So the criticised child learns that they are loved but with conditions. To survive, the child's psyche decides that these conditions must be learnt and met. As you can see, this creates a person who learns to wear a mask. A mask of whatever makes them stand-out, or special in other people's eyes. I am not enough just being me, I must fake it and pretend to be something else. Many actors have this Shadow, it is possibly the ultimate mask.
In trying to be someone else's idea of perfect, the child will internalise the criticisms so that she becomes her own worst critic. She is after all, not good enough. And the only way to be good enough is to fix herself, to improve, to perfect herself.
It becomes an Arrogance issue because as mentioned, the child is loved. So the belief becomes, I'll do whatever is considered perfect so that I'm loved, because I am worth that love, I am special, they just don't realise it yet.
There exists an internal conflict of feeling not good enough and feeling special.
This is compounded by any improvements. The child with this Shadow becomes an expert in people behaviour so that she can learn what works and what doesn't work in the game of gaining love. She makes improvements and thus feels proud about herself. She can then judge those who are not improved in that area as inferior.
Thus, the internal personal criticisms evolve into criticisms of others.
The person that criticises other people constantly, is the person who fears most of not being good enough.
However, in more mature persons, the criticisms re-internalise. So much so, that their friends and family would never see that person as arrogant at all. Yet criticism of others never ends. They've simply learnt the art of keeping it to themselves, and worse, to convince themselves that deep down they are accepting.
So the first step is Shadow recognition. The second is acceptance. Recognising that we might own this paticular Shadow, and recognising how it was formed. Knowing this helps us see it for what it is. Not some horrible thing to cast off, to hate, or to be ashamed of, but to appreciate that without it we would not have survived emotionally and psychologically.
Accepting the Shadow might seem easy at first, but it can be a long process. If there is any shame or guilt or such, it can take time to learn to love it as a part of us, A part that helped us cope with what life threw at us.
Part ii of the Arrogance Shadow will come.