“we are who we are” Using own experiences to help change lives
Lisa Kinsler, shown above, has always had a dream to write a book. Although she thought she would be writing a great American Romance Novel, the words that came out were something completely unexpected. Through her own life experiences, Kinsler takes her readers on a journey that demonstrates how hard it can be to make change and the cycles that follow are molds of what defines each person.
Sometimes childhood dreams stay just that; dreams. But, sometimes they become a life changing reality, even if they take half a lifetime to achieve. For Elsberry resident Lisa Kinsler, it was a dream she is using to change the lives of those who think change cannot be obtained.
“we are who we are,” is a self-published, non-fiction narrative about her life and how it helped mold her into the woman she is today.
Ever since Kinsler was eight-years-old she said she wanted to write a book. However, when she sat down and started writing it quickly became something else entirely.
“I just always thought I would write a great American Romance novel about love and happiness,” said Kinsler. “But when I sat down at the computer, these are the words that came out.”
Far too often people think that it is really easy to change their cycle of life and get out of bad situations, such as abuse, drugs and alcohol and it’s really not as easy as changing ones clothes. People don’t just wake up one day and say “hey, I’m going to change this and be a different person.” It just doesn’t work that way.
“I used my own life experiences from this exact subject. I lost my mother at an early age, my father abandoned me and unfortunately that led to several cycles of bad situations, which didn’t end until I ended up in criminal activities,” said Kinsler. “However, I have the ending and people will just have to read the book to find out what happened.”
Kinsler added that she was definitely one of the lucky ones that was able to shift their life into a positive direction. This also has a lot to do with what she teaches in her Criminal Justice class at St. Charles Community College.
Part of the inspiration for this book came from always hearing people talk like they know what it’s like to be a victim and listening to others question why they didn’t change their life. Kinsler said it got to a point where she wanted to scream because it’s just not as easy as hitting a switch on the wall.
“There is fear involved and that fear, that control, completely dictates how you behave,” said Kinsler. “That same fear and hopelessness and that belief that you can’t change it, overpowers everything else.”
Kinsler said her goal or her hope is that this book will allow her to be a voice for those struggling with the same issues.
“I don’t want people to feel like they are to blame for not being able to change their life immediately,” said Kinsler. “This goes for criminals too, as I became a criminal because I really didn’t feel as though I had any other options in my life.”
According to her, this is how many trouble minded people feel and that’s where they are in their lives.
Kinsler said she has to give credit to a lot of people for their help on this book, including her students at St. Charles Community College, which influenced her to believe she could do something like this. She added that when she finished the last page of the book she cried because she accomplished one of her childhood dreams.
“I always said I would write a book and now I have,” said Kinsler. “But beyond that, this journey also helped me find closure with my own life struggles. There are a lot of things in this book that people didn’t know about me and that’s one of the things we talk about, is how no one really knows anyone; it’s an illusion.”
According to her, it is impossible to think people know everything there is to know about a person.
“We are all individuals and we all see, feel and experience things different from other people,” said Kinsler. “How I experience a situation or life event is going to be completely different from how someone else may have experienced the same situation.”
This is true even for what Kinsler refers to as the victims. However, this book was also a means to educate her children on what guided her to be who she is today and that change can happen.