eye or window cleaning

It can happen that if one attempts to help a soul who's troubled because of their own behavior that they will lash out, and say things like, "I've heard bad things about you, too." A friend of mine responded to such a riposte by saying, "Indeed, many an unsavoury thing could be said of me." My friend explained to me that such reactions are predictable, but that one must still, from time to time, try to make gentle reminders to people - as we ourselves need such reminders, too. But it is tricky dealing with critical lashings out, especially if one is, relatively speaking, innocent.
And then I read Natalie's post How to Deal with Criticism at Vanillery Garden, and found more enlightened advice about such situations, like, by giving such "grumpy children" a "mental hug," one is allowing oneself to see their potential. This is such a suitable theme for this week, that I really wanted to share it.
I would say that I used to be most sensitive to this very thing: when people used to lash out at me for no reason. Natalie put it so well: such attacks happen because there are some people who try to get attention through tantrums, and do not want others to have more fun than them, though they are unwilling to go through the motions that would make them just as happy. I would get all upset and nervous when people would say lies about me to my face, but I suppose this has to do with pride. I'd usually think, what if someone heard that, and believed it?

Over time, it has become easier. My internet friend's advice to hold the intent of love in your heart has been a saving grace. A few days ago, I saw two people together who had both, separately, given me problems - and when I saw them together, I felt, perhaps for no reason, that they'd tried to knit a trap for me together. In the past, I would have been so infuriated, I would have told everyone the details of the petty stories, but because I had written about loving intent that very same day, I looked into their eyes, and smiled, and felt released. Which is not to say that I think I have mastered the technique, just that it is possible to get better at it.
I was thinking about these things as I cleaned my windows this morning. Every time I clean the windows, I think that I am cleaning the eyes of my apartment. This isn't anthropomorphism, rather, I think of the windows as an extension to my own eyes. Isn't this why many enjoy houses with windows? The windows can bring in good things, so one wants to have clean windows in order to enjoy the view.
But I am now speaking in metaphors: for as I cleaned, it occurred to me that I had a still incomplete "spiritual homework assignment" on how to deal with naysayers, or, more specifically, people who spread petty and false gossip (none of these people bothers to have conversations with me!). I realised there were some people I had been unfair to - one must bury others' faults in order to bury one's own. I was so surprised to realise there were some people I will have to work on, because I am quite vigilant about keeping my proverbial Little Prince volcanoes clean, so they do not erupt.
Some people will claim they are perfect, and then focus on others' real or imagined flaws. But these people are not to be feared, but to be lent compassion, because their approach to life is blocking them from their own happiness. But if one sees that one has failed in this, there is nothing to fear, either; rather, it is important only that we are trying our best to make our way to the better fields.

 Defeat whets victory, they say;
The reefs in old Gethsemane
    Endear the shore beyond.
'T is beggars banquets best define;
'T is thirsting vitalizes wine, —
    Faith faints to understand.
From Emily Dickinson's XXIV TOO MUCH

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