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Front Cover – From Loneliness to Love: Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship by JoAnne Macco (USA, 2020)

With all the social distancing and lockdown during these uncertain times of a global pandemic, there is no reason for us to give up on finding the love of our life. In her self-help guide, From Loneliness to Love: Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship, memoirist and former mental health therapist JoAnne Macco does not dillydally with meanderings. She presents each recommended step with clear and concise descriptions and exercises for realizing the change we seek in our lives.

Based on her own journey of finding a compatible partner, following her divorce and two rebound damaging relationships, Macco knows well the pitfalls that await us along the way. She believes that the steps she had taken for a successful outcome could also work for others.

Her first step is intuitive: “Clarify Your Heart’s Desire.” Yet, so many of us can stumble in defining exactly what we seek in a relationship. Tips and exercises help the lonely heart to zero in on the list of qualities that really matter, based on each person’s wants and needs.

Step Two, “Request Help from the Divine,” may seem meaningless to those who do not believe that a higher power exists. Macco does not see this as an impediment. Instead, she offers exercises to strengthen our connection with whatever we perceive the Divine to be: Creator, Great Spirit, The Universe, or something else.

The third step, “Love Yourself Well,” can pose a challenge for those of us lacking in self-esteem. Macco also knows how anger and resentment can also block our path to happiness. Her exercises help us to become our better selves and open our heart to the love we seek.

Step Four, “Focus on Friendship,” is essential to the process—difficult but not impossible during these times of social distancing. Macco describes all the ways in which our network of friends serves us in achieving our desired goal. She offers activities to strengthen this support.

Macco’s fifth step, “Imagine the Best,” is a form of positive thinking. As it relates to finding the love of our life, she is not short on specific ways to imagine the best. She is with us all the way.

JoAnne Macco, now retired, has worked for thirty years as a mental health therapist, specialized in addictions and codependency. Growing up in a military family, she lived in six U.S. states and Canada. Her love for nature, art, and writing became the constants in her life. In her first book, Trust the Timing: A Memoir of Finding Love Again, Macco tells the story of how her high school sweetheart found her thirty-nine years later when the timing was perfect. She blogs at “Anything is Possible!” where she writes about relationships, spirituality, and hope. She lives with her husband in North Carolina. Learn more at https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/