BUILDING INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIP- THE GRASS IS GREENER WHERE YOU WATER IT.

DAY 1.

BUILDING INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIP- THE GRASS IS GREENER WHERE YOU WATER IT.

I grew up watching how my parents nurtured some relationships in their lives. Our home was an open invitation to aunties and uncles- people who were not related by blood but by the stronger bond of another blissful relationship called Friendship.

Being the kinda outgoing and somehow introvert person I am, I always say it with pride- I DO WELL WITH PEOPLE.
But doing well with people doesn’t guarantee any form of deep rooted connection with them.

In my early twenties, although I knew people, but there was this deep thirst to have people I belonged to in all aspect of my life. I had very good friends don’t get me wrong and yet there were some areas I felt “alone” in.
I had a yearn for deeper bonds that was stronger than just being a colleague at work, or being a class mate or a next door neighbor. As an artist and creative person, I unashamedly admitted I wanted friends who were concern about my personal life as well as my social life.
People followed me on socia media, that’s cool, at least most time of the day but I wanted something deeper than that.

It was a hard place to be. As my audience grew over the years, I wanted the security in relationships and not just on social media.

I had “friends” who loved my personal life but hardly showed interest in any of my social life or at least that’s what their actions made me felt. And in though in some time past, I was so dependent on that validation and to be seen and celebrated by them, not in the same way my audience did, but at least a little bit of concern. And the absence of that use to hurt until I grew into a deeper understanding of the fact that sometimes people can only give you what they have and that’s okay. You cannot force them. I settled that peace in my heart and trust me, as an artist my life became much better and even had more room to accommodate gratitude for those who simply adore me for what I do.

I also knew people, who were madly in love with my social life but I didn’t feel it was safe to let them into my personal space. I tried a couple and the outcome was just not my thing. There’s a different between being adored for WHAT YOU DO and being adored for WHO YOU ARE. Often social media audiences give the former. They tend to have project high standards on you and God forbid you write something they don’t agree or resonate with, that’s the end. Isn’t that so shallow a relationship?

And so I deeply and secretly yearned for few group of people I knew I could fall on in any aspect of my life anyday.

I knew what I wanted in the first place so it was easy to build that with some of the people in my life who I already knew. I just knew it for a fact that those people were people I knew I could journey along with them and as they years went by I found more room to accommodate more of such friends into my life.

In the year 2018, I went on a retreat with three of these friends who are now what I unashamedly call my inner group to specifically pray into our friendship, have fun and bond together. I will say that retreat added a great deal to my life. It was that retreat Kwabena asked us to read the book Scary close by Don Miller and since that book, I have walked into many newness of life, purpose, vision and hopefulness.

And that has been a pattern for me as I open my circle everyday to accommodate the people I want to journey into my life.

Throughout this whole circuit, I’ve grown more comfortable being my most authentic around these people and they being as well around me.

As I have become more absorbed into this whole space of intentionality, I look out day to day in what areas I can improve in my frienship with people . I am not the best of friends, but I know how much I try to water the grass to keep it greener even on days I have my own drought. Even though I’d prefer to focus on my own things sometimes. I will love to sleep in alone and most days or do life alone to escape the chaos that comes with relationships but I have also recognise that I am placed in the community of people for a purpose and that is the mutual sharing of love, generosity and vulnerability.

Below are some things I do intentionally with my friends.

WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER.
When it comes to my ingroup, we support each other intentionally. We support both our personal and social needs. We are present at each other’s program whether or not we feel like it or passionate about it.

WE REMEMBER IMPORTANT DAYS.
I am bad at remembering dates but when it comes to these people, I go extra for them. I put some important days on the calender so I don’t miss whatever milestone is in preparation to been celebrated.

WE SHARE GIFTS.
There’s something I love about this group. The mutual sharing of gifts. In some of my relationship, I have always been at the giving end and hardly at the receiving end. But there’s this beautiful tradition we have intentionally built over the years. We gift each other on every birthday and Christmas and any other random days. When it comes to some of my intentional friends, like Barbara Zipporah and Comfort who even extends their act of kindness to my some of relatives which remains of the coolest thing any friend has done for me.

WE COVER EACH OTHER IN PRAYERS.
Kwabena Eddie Mankata and Dorcas Fafali Tsey together have a prayer board at their home you can find prayer requests of people who walk into their homes on. Even before they married, they each had my name on their boards spelt out boldly in submission to God. Maame Akosua Oforiwaa Densu is one of my intentional spiritual friends. I can talk a whole day about my Christian journey with her and not feel bored!

WE RESPECT EACH OTHERS LIMITATION.
When it comes to my intentional making friends, I don’t fear my limitations because I know they know me enough to trust the things I can not do for them and the peace in knowing that wouldn’t be held against me and vise versa.With them, I am comfortable claiming my space, comfortable saying No, comfortable telling the truth that I can’t show up in ways they may want me, comfortable working on my self at my own pace knowing that there’s patience around the corner for me and vise versa.

I hope these handles encourage you in your own pursuit for intentional friends or help you strengthen and fortify bonds that exist between you and your friends.

Devotedly Jo Nketiah

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