Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently

I started biting my nails when I was about 6 years old, or even earlier… I remember my mother telling me not to do it, and eventually buying some foul tasting liquid to put on my nails. Despite this awful taste I persisted. It became a very unconscious habit that increased when I was aware of being anxious, for example reading a tension-inducing book or in my teens watching a literally – for me – a “nail-biting” TV programme! As I grew older and became more self conscious I tried to hide my nails by folding my fingers inside my palms so no one would notice. I felt helpless to do anything about it, although I would like to have stopped the habit. I chewed all the way through my school years.

I got married with bitten nails and let the end of my fingers drop when people wanted to see my engagement and wedding rings. At one point I even went for a manicure and had false nails put on. This worked for a while as I couldn’t chew my nails through the false ones. But even though my nails grew a little underneath, when the false nails fell off my own nails were so weak and brittle that they split and I chewed once more. Later I decided to try hypnotherapy in an effort to stop my habit: this technique worked for a while, and I dutifully performed the self hypnotherapy programme I had been given, but this didn’t hold and I once again chewed my nails.  I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

As a result of being introduced to Serge Benhayon and the Universal Medicine teachings 8 years ago, I realised that self-love was a new concept to me! I began to understand that my self-loathing and lack of self-love in my case manifested as nail biting   which I used as a form of anger against myself. It was safer to literally “eat myself” than to show my anger outwardly. How unloving was that?! My self esteem had been very low for a long time.

I began to alter my former lifestyle habits by choosing a gentler rhythm in my daily activities: this involved sleeping according to how my body felt and also eating a diet that suited me, for true nourishment – foods that didn’t make me feel heavy or bloated. I became more aware of how I moved about in my daily life and began a gentle daily walk. I stopped pushing myself, which had a hardening effect on me and my body. I became a lot more accepting of myself and appreciating myself for who I truly am, not what I had been told I was from childhood. I noticed how I began to feel so much better about and even like myself, something unheard of for as long as I could remember. I had spent a lot of money on various spiritual modalities before Universal Medicine, but nothing had really changed, as I had only experienced temporary relief from some symptoms.

I began to develop love for myself, which meant that I cared for and nurtured my body more, and this has lasted until this day.

I have also received Esoteric Healing from Universal Medicine practitioners. A few years after my initial introduction to Universal Medicine and as my self-love grew, I observed that I was no longer constantly chewing my nails… and in fact my nails were growing. This happened without any trying to stop! It seemed like a miracle to me. Fifty years of a habit evaporated over the next few months. Wow! I no longer hide my nails and hands out of embarrassment and even paint my nails, have manicures and choose to wear rings on occasions. Thank you to Serge Benhayon and all the amazing Universal Medicine practitioners who have supported me over the past few years as I return to the true me – a work still in progress.

By Sue Q, Somerset UK

Further Reading:
Learning to Feel my Feelings: Human Beings, not Human Doings

1,330 thoughts on “Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently

  1. How is it that we expect and often demand love from others but do not give it to ourselves? We have to start with loving ourselves first and then we can actually let love in.

  2. Sue I love your re-imprinting of the old saying in your title. Dealing with our unwanted behaviours should absolutely be a gentle, appreciative process, not a haul-yourself-over-the-coals, self-flagellation fest!

  3. Our love is our greatest protection and to not live it means we erode our sense of self and feel ill equipped to face what is in front of us.

  4. As long as the cause isn´t resolved the symptom can at best be managed but not healed, but usually we try hard and experience failure which contributes even more to a sense of giving up on ourselves and thus continuing or even worsen our symptoms or behaviours.

  5. Often we try to get it rid of old habits by eradicating them with a force or fervour with not much success. Doing it with understanding, gently and patiently may appear weak when we start but turns out to be strong and lasting when we continue.

  6. This is a lovely story Sue thanks for sharing. Its amazing how we alert ourselves to something being wrong by our habits. Being able to read this, having connected with universal medicine led to the understand as to why, which led to the healing understanding of self love, so wonderful.

  7. We could call these healings miracles, and on a temporal level I can imagine you can perceive it as such. But in fact it is much more simple, as it is simply our connection with the love that we are and we are avoiding to live, that does not allow any abuse to the body.

  8. “I began to develop love for myself, which meant that I cared for and nurtured my body more, and this has lasted until this day.” The magic of love is boundless.

  9. “I began to develop love for myself, which meant that I cared for and nurtured my body more, and this has lasted until this day.” It really is very inspiring to read that you can always reimprint anything, anything that is not bringing a level of love to the body.

    1. Yes its great to know that we can re-imprint anything – whatever our age, culture, race etc including the beliefs and ideals we were raised in. We have enormous power – the power of love….

  10. Pushing myself has introduced itself again recently into my life. I used to think that pushing myself was committing to life but now I realise whether I am in procrastination or driving myself to get things done it is one of the same – abuse to my body and to that all around. Making my life about what needs to be done first creates complication and this way of being then leads to exhaustion. Committing to life is committing to self first and not allowing anything to get in the way of this commitment and then going about my day. Nominating the abuse when it shows its face and appreciating the nominating are key.

  11. What a great story about something that turned my stomach a little to be honest. It’s an interesting read on how you worked through something by not focusing on it but by looking at what was causing it. Almost like in place of treating or solving the symptom you went at the root cause of it. I love how the example was given also of living beyond the symptom and not trying to fix it by making it look better and in this way it just fell away. You lived a different way and this way then supported you to automatically make more caring and true choices, almost like magic.

    1. Yes, focussing on symptoms alone doesn’t heal anything. Appreciating and loving ourselves is a much gentler way. Bringing understanding rather than judgement can get to the root cause. Miracles can then happen.

      1. Yes I agree and it feels a little more concrete than that. Not in an inflexible way but an action movement on what you have truly felt to do next. Not getting caught up in the what was happening but more of a dedication all over on why a certain behaviour is playing out.

  12. ” Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently” just a great example of how we self heal if we want to, thank you for sharing.

  13. Sue I could so relate to the nasty tasting stuff put on my nails to stop me bitting them, although it only stopped me for a short while, I don’t think I consciously stopped bitting them, over time I didn’t feel the same stresses that I had felt when I was at school, and one day my mum remarked on how lovely my nails were, and I realised that I no longer felt that same anxiety I once did.

  14. So true, we have to see what is underneath and what is at the core of the issue we are facing.. To truly understand we need to not judge ourselves for whatever we have done, but simply hold ourselves in warmth and surrender (love) to what we are there for to feel again.. Being it absolute love or an absolute lie – to hold steady and not react.

  15. Nail biting is it really anger against oneself? Or is it more a reflection of a profoundly unsettled body of a person that has decided that there is nothing inside him/herself that is worth enough to shape his/her own way of moving?

  16. It is amazing how when we choose to love ourselves habits we thought were deeply engrained simply fall away without any ‘trying’ to exert control over them. Once we embrace the love that we are the things that are not loving are released.

  17. I remember biting my nails throughout my teens and twenties and probably 30’s. I used to do it when I was anxious or tense and I have a feeling now that it was because I never expressed what I was feeling and so would bite my nails instead.

  18. Smoking was the same for me Sue, I didn’t try to quit but rather I was re-introduced to myself and once that relationship begun to blossom, I found it impossible to smoke, for I had no emptiness to fill up and in your case, you had stopped eating away at yourself and naturally the whole nail biting thing went with it! Universal Medicines approach makes sense, treat the cause not the symptom.

    1. There must be so many of us Esoteric students who have found old habits have gently faded away as we healed the causes and become more true to ourselves. When you consider the stop smoking programme in the UK – and its cost – surely filling our emptiness with love for ourselves has to be a more gentle 9And cost-effective) way of approaching such issues.

  19. It is great to come back and re-read this as this is a habit that I have not broken. When I feel anxious or uncomfortable in a situation I still go into this behaviour. I can go periods without doing it but find its still a pattern I resort too, in reading this it asks me to sit with this and bring more awareness to when I am doing this.

    1. Becoming aware of when we go into our bad habits is a first step. The reading as to what energy we are in – and our movements – before that, supports me as i too very occasionally return to this. Not beating ourselves up – another important step – rather to appreciate how far we have come.

  20. When we allow ourselves the space to live via our movements and connection to the body we begin to build a foundation of love for self and it is via these gentle movements to nurture who we are we see old habits die gently along with it. So even the habits such as nail biting which may be harsh begin to dissipate gently because we are allowing more love in.

    1. Allowing more love in – that’s the key . If we truly love ourselves how could we possibly harm our precious body – be it with nail-biting or any other form of self-abuse?

  21. One thing I have learned continually with Universal Medicine is that, if the root of the issue is healed then all effects that the issues had rippled out, just fall away.

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