By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Many times we forge and foster relational ties through the dark thread of stained dislike. We share connection on a shared contempt or dislike of another which is not really a true connection at all.
Temporarily, we find ourselves gratified and elevated but, long-term, we find ourselves disappointed, disillusioned, and disconnected to God, to ourselves, and with others.
For this reason, we are wise to evaluate and assess our present relationships.
Ask these questions:
1) What is the basis for my relational "tie" with this individual or collective group?
2) What is the subject context within our relationship?
 Is it filled with humility and healing or blaming and shaming?
Is it healthy or degrading to individuals and parties outside the relationship?
3) Is God glorified through my conduct and conversation?
Do I truly respect "myself" and take responsibility for the conduct and conversation in this relationship? Am I devaluing another individual in my behavior through this relationship?
Hmmm ...
Hands down, Brene' Brown offers some of the most challenging insights on relational arenas. Daring to poke into pockets of pride, prejudice, and self-preservation she exposes  the harmful threads that often weave themselves into our inner circle of relationships.
She challenges us to see "shared enmity" as one worth unraveling.
She challenges us to look at ourselves and take responsibility for the unity or disunity we are weaving into our own lives and the lives of those we are connected to.
Ponder and consider these profound thoughts with me:
"I don't know really know you, nor am I invested in our relationship, but I do like that we hate the same people and have contempt for the same ideas.
Common enemy intimacy is counterfeit connection and the opposite of true belonging. If the bond we share with others is simply that we hate the same people, the intimacy we experience is often intense, immediately gratifying, and an easy way to discharge outrage and pain. It is not, however, fuel for real connection. It's fuel that runs hot, burns fast, and leaves a trail of polluted emotion. And if we live with any level of self-awareness, it's also the kind of intimacy that can leave us with the intense regrets of an integrity hangover.
"Did I really participate in that? Is that moving us forward? Am I engaging in, quite literally, the exact same behavior that I find loathsome in others?
... When a collective group comes together at the expense of others, for example, to bond over the devaluation or debasing of another person or group of people, or to bond despite this, it does not heal the spiritual crisis of disconnection. In fact, it does quite the opposite by feeding it. It is not true collective joy if it's at the expense of others, and it is not true collective pain if it causes others pain.
One collective assembly can start to heal the wounds of traumatized community, while another can initiate trauma in that same community. When we come together to share authentic joy, hope, and pain, we melt the pervasive cynicism that often cloaks our better human nature. When we come together under the false flag of common enemy intimacy, we amplify cynicism and diminish our collective worth."
-Brene' Brown
The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone