I want to say a few words about something the Masters told me on more than one occasion during the times they spoke to me. What they said was words to the effect (and I am not quoting verbatim here as in the book but from memory and in my own words though the sense is theirs) that, "You will be subjected to extreme provocation at certain times in your life. This is because the dark forces always attack those who seek to tread the spiritual path but it is also to test your ability to remain calm and not react because of pride or self-will. Accept these attacks humbly even if you believe them to be unreasonable and unjust."
I am not mentioning this here because of a personal situation but for more universal reasons because I think this kind of thing happens to everyone who tries to lead a life in which spiritual concerns come first. You will be attacked. Perhaps by outsiders, colleagues or perhaps by friends and even family. The attacks will possibly contain elements of truth but truth blown up out of proportion and with no sense of a more balanced point of view. We all have faults. These will be homed in on and used to completely define your personality as though the faults were all it were. Sometimes the whole point will be that the attacks are clearly totally unreasonable. This is to get you to react with self-righteous indignation. The fact that you are right will be used to deceive you into thinking that your reaction is right which, of course, it isn't.
I think the only solution when faced with personal attacks is to remember how Jesus behaved when he was attacked in this manner. He remained calm and said nothing. He did not try to justify himself. He did not pity himself even when his friends either abandoned him or actually turned on him. Nothing was more unjust than what he had to endure.
But he was Jesus, you might say. We can't live like that! Yes, we can. We can certainly try to do so. In fact, we must do so. That was the example he set, the example was specifically for us to follow. He was not doing anything that his followers could not do as the early martyrs demonstrated. It is highly unlikely that we will be called upon to do anything as dramatic as them but we will be personally traduced. This may be on account of our beliefs but it may also be for who we are or how we behave. Anyone who sincerely wishes to follow Christ is stepping out of the mainstream and bringing completely different rules to the game. They might seem exacting, intolerant, critical, judgemental (in the world's eyes) and they might be condemned on just these grounds. But we have to stand firm while always remembering that it should be our behaviour that judges the world more than our words by which I mean that those who would follow Christ must set a personal example.
The dark forces have a lot of power in the world today, partly because they are unacknowledged and their way of working unrecognised. They can act through those close to us, professionally or personally. But God can bring good out of evil and this is one of those tests that burn out self-concern from our character and enable us to turn to God more fully. It has to be said, too, that sometimes something in the attack may have an element of truth to it and we would do well to see that even if the bulk of it is unjust.