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

1,400 thoughts on “Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently

  1. It’s beautiful how you stopped biting your nails by developing more self-love, care and nurturing in your way of being, and the ripple effect this had on all areas of your life, so rather than focusing on stopping what was ‘wrong’ you developed and built on a quality in yourself that supported you to naturally let the habit go.

  2. In developing a loving relationship with our essence, we naturally become aware of what is of this love and what is not, as such the behaviours that do not fit with loving quality often just fall away without effort. The power of love is awe-inspiring whenever we are willing to surrender to all that is there for us to explore of who we are within.

  3. The more we accept ourselves, the less abusive behaviours we will have. It is as simple as that really in that life is either about love or what is not love. The choice is ours to make.

  4. Proof that we cannot change habits long term by will power – only by changing the quality of our life and letting all other decisions after that begin to follow that quality.

  5. We can change any habit we have, not through willpower but through understanding the root cause of why we have the habit in the first place.

    1. So true Elizabeth. Will power and discipline don’t work – as evidenced by so many who lose weight and then put it back on after their ‘diet’ is over. Loving understanding is the way to go.

  6. Sue it’s truly amazing to read this again because it shows how we flourish with our own self care and self love, it brings enormous healing to the body and being, and things we did (habits etc) or even things we would think such as negative thoughts may evaporate. The more I nurture myself in self love the more that self harming things (even subtle things) fall away. As we build our self love there is no room anymore for that which is not loving. Congratulations, it’s a beautiful story you have shared.

  7. the beauty of honesty, when we reflect on the deeper layer and meaning of why we do things allows us to actually drop deeper into ourselves and understand why we do things the way we do them. It is easier to look at the root cause as we feel it, and can then by our choice move on.

  8. This blog really highlights to me the impact and power of how we are with ourselves, the kind of relationship that we have and build with ourself and our body in all areas of our daily life…

    1. That’s very true, we have the power to navigate our whole lives onto any course we wish to, and it’s not just in our big choices but all the little choices that decides our navigation.

  9. It is beautiful when we start to take care of ourselves, this grows into more love for ourselves and this then can help with letting go of disregarding behaviours. And this thing we change only has to be one simple thing like not overeating or starting to make our bed with care.

  10. Whenever I notice I am biting my nails now I realise something is not quite right with how I am living or feeling, in most of the cases its when I feel something and don’t want to deal with. When I allow myself to feel whatever it is the urge to bite goes.

  11. “I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause”. This is a huge clue as to why modern medicine is not the sole answer when dealing with illness and disease because it focuses on symptoms rather than the cause of the symptoms. Get to the cause and deal with it and huge miracles occur.

  12. Sometimes when we remove ourselves from a situation, we think things have changed. But in truth withdrawing just postpones what we need to face. Sooner or later the issue will present again, and we’ll have another opportunity to choose to deal with it then. How beautiful the cycles of this world are and how great it is when we see them for the support that they offer.

  13. This is no small miracle Sue, it is a testament to how making seemingly minor adjustments to our lifestyle and being more honouring of the divinity we innately are, leads to a greater settlement in the body. More settlement = less anxiety. And less anxiety means no need to attack ourselves out of the nervous energy we have let run us for so long.

    1. “More settlement = less anxiety. And less anxiety means no need to attack ourselves out of the nervous energy we have let run us for so long.” Beautifully expressed Liane -and so true. Experiencing is believing – and knowing this to be so. .

  14. I didn’t start biting my nails, or at least the skin around my nails, until I was in my sixties. I allowed myself to get really anxious about a certain situation and worried about how I could cope with it and blamed myself for being in it in the first place. I was literally attacking myself. I tried hard not to do this and bought foul tasting liquid to paint on my fingers, I used will power and a firm conviction but when I was up against the wall so to speak the involuntary movement of my hand to my mouth would kick in. Only by bringing a deeper level of acceptance and understanding, only by having compassion for myself, only by allowing myself to feel the love that was there underneath all the judgements and anxiety was it possible for change to occur. Supported by being on Retreats and courses with Universal Medicine the energy with which I lived most of the time became more loving, more surrendered and I realised one day that I had not wanted to react to stress by hurting myself, by eating away at myself. It now seems crazy that I could do such a thing and yet not that long ago it was my normal.

    1. Elaine it is really amazing what you have shared. How many of us go into self attack when we are in an intense situation? It may be anything from unsupportive food choices, excessive exercise, alcohol, or just our harsh internal dialogue speaking to ourselves in an unloving, critical way. The more I build self love into my life the more I remember to turn towards love as a way to support myself, instead of being abusive to myself in some way.

  15. We need loving discipline and not strict discipline in order to change patterns that no longer serve us

  16. I’ve often tried strict discipline to stop habits or pattern of behaviour, but without exception I have reacted to this and gone back to whatever it was, sometime with renewed conviction and vigour. Since being more loving and understanding with myself however, so many things I would have previously seen as impossible to change, have just dropped away with no fuss or hardlined effort needed. In saying yes to love I am saying no to much less.

    1. This is a common human experience to try to use willpower to stop a habit. I generally think of habits as a way we can attempt to relieve ourselves temporarily from a tension, so the willpower approach sets up an even greater tension like a tightly stretched elastic band – at some point we are going to snap back and return to the habit, now perhaps seeking an even greater sense of relief. Bringing in love and understanding doesn’t even try to solve these habits or behaviours, it just begins to take the place of such things and they are then no longer needed.

  17. Sue, this is a great example of how the approach of trying to get rid of the symptom (in this case, nail biting) without looking at and addressing the underlying energetic cause (lack of self-love, self-loathing, etc) will never result in a resolution or healing of the issue. But when you began to live with more self-care and nurturing, the symptom went away effortlessly. A true model for healing!

  18. What an incredible support to get a reading on this. Sure there are a lot of things that can ‘fix’ nail biting – but to actually see what it is – an attack on yourself out of anger – helps start to heal what is behind the action. This is huge and shows the power of looking at why we do things.

  19. This is beautiful Sue as it illustrates how we can stop a habit, go on a diet , .. or any other solution to improve our situation, but what truly changes? When we build a body of love our old habits and protections just naturally drop away.

  20. “I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause.” Yes that is the key to change, to healing the root cause of our behaviours and not just trying to force ourselves to stop, because even if we proceed the underlying issue is still there and probably we are now doing something else that releases the tension instead of the habit we stopped with force.

  21. So many of us have similar behaviours that we go to when a hint of anxiety comes up for us. What we don’t realise is that in going to the behaviour we leave our stillness and our connection to ourself and in the moment become owned by something outside us. I am still working on mine!

    1. So true Doug, when we find ourselves in the grips of our patterns and momentum’s, it is a clear indication that there is something for us to take stock of and to uncover why this is so, as this will pave the way for true healing to occur.

  22. I love that biting your nails fell away – this is so telling of the fact that we can look beyond the issue – that there is always something more to understand which then does not allow space for anything that is not loving or supportive.

  23. It is never a NO to things we want to change but a YES on a bigger scale to you that truly changes habits and patterns that are actually holding us in the loop of distraction or self sabotage.

    1. It is magical indeed, how things fall into place and we realise how patterns or behaviours do not exist anymore because we worked on our self love. Focussing on the bits we are not so great in will not change them. Building a new foundation of love in our body does resolve them ” automatically” by choosing so.

  24. I love that you stopped biting your nails without even noticing, rather the self loving activities you were doing took care of the need to eat yourself! I really love that the way forward is upping the love.

  25. I remember friends at school who chewed their nails, they wanted to stop and just could not even with deterrents like foul tasting nail paint. Sue what you have shared here about developing your self love and self care being what supported the habit to dissolve could also relate to many unwanted habits and addictions.

    1. Yes, focusing on love and expanding that for myself – which of course leads on to expanding that to everyone else – rather than concentrating on the ‘trying to get rid of a negative habit’ – makes so much sense. Old habits if removed with discipline tend to return. With Love we feel full of ourselves, so there is no emptiness and no need to use an old habit to give us something that we previously lacked.

  26. We so often try to fix or solve problems by dealing only with the physical almost battling against the underlying energy (which is the real cause) whilst not truly changing it. It is exhausting and is in fact the pure nature of what a solution or bandaide actually is.

    1. Solutions are a relief of the tension when we feel deeper into what is truly going on with us and taking responsibility for our own choices. The world champions solutions and is even proud of them, but they are just buying time. In the end, we all need to look deeper and take responsibility, question is: how much has to happen still/ how crazy/ sick does the world need to become, before we stop?

    2. Getting to the underlying energetic cause is so important. Otherwise we use discipline and the old habit can return. This is so obvious in the dieting industry where weight loss yo-yos and rarely do people manage to keep to their target weight without serious discipline.

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