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
Learning to Feel my Feelings: Human Beings, not Human Doings
1,425 thoughts on “Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently”
Treating symptoms gives short term relief. Treating the root cause heals.
Spot on Henrietta. Yet how many of us may ‘successfully’ treat the superficial symptoms and wonder why they return after a while.
Could it also be that when we are children we feel the energy of everything that surrounds us and when we are not encouraged to express what we feel, the difference of the energies then we are left in the nervous tension and biting or chewing our nails is an indication of the stress we are feeling and unable to articulate.
Yes habits such as these indicate an underlying cause – tension and stress – that isn’t dealt with. How many of us treat ourselves and/or our children looking to get symptom relief rather than looking deeper for the root cause of such tension.
“It was safer to literally “eat myself” than to show my anger outwardly.” Wow you are really honest Sue – Thank you – as it is very helpful to understand what is really going on underneath our so called bad habits. I love to read what is possible if we start to chose to nurture and love ourselves more!
The miracles that can happen daily as we choose self love are beyond imagination.
‘Fifty years of a habit evaporated over the next few months. Wow! ‘ This is incredible but is also making wonderful sense to me – with love we are complete so there is no need for anything that is not love, what’s not love then drops away.
Love this Karin – ‘what’s not love then drops away’ – when we feel settled and complete with love.
Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine are starting a self-love revolution. I love reading stories like this where people are starting to truly love themselves and the miracles that come from this.
A genuine love revolution Sarah! So beautiful to read about and to know that true healing is possible.
“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” Sue I love this, it really says it all. If we look after ourselves our lives improves beyond measure, love ourselves unconditionally and our lives are lived in connection with the divine.
When we start to be more loving with ourselves we do not need certain behaviours anymore, they simply cannot be part of our life anymore.
It is very difficult to give something up unless we have truly resolved the issue.
Yes and discipline may work for a while, but it doesn’t hold. Going to the root cause and healing that results in long term healing.
Biting our nails gives us a sense of ownership over our own body that we appreciate given our lack of self-worth. We use this ownership to avoid at all costs settling in our own body.
I have discovered that everything goes more smoothly when we are gentle with ourselves.
Such a simple truth Elizabeth – the gentleness is a bridge to look after ourselves and stay connected with the body and soul.
While it seems like a small thing to give up biting your nails, it is a smoke signal to the deeper changes experienced inside yourself. Its a common experience amongst the students who are with Universal Medicine… deep rivers of change, and these are then experienced in the outward manifestation of many and all aspects of life.
You can see with people biting their nails that they are attacking themselves. There is an energy at play that is attacking their own body.
It is to be felt why we attack ourselves?
A beautiful realisation of the power of self love and self nurturing.
The transformational power of self-love.. when we start taking much deeper care of ourselves, the anxiousness starts to subside by itself because we are able to connect more solidly to the absolute knowing and understanding of who we are, in essence – instead of trying to find it somewhere outside of us, or look to the world to give us some kind of temporary relief or security.
I love the title of this blog which illustrates how if we introduce the medicine of love then we do not have to impose discipline to arrest the symptom as we are addressing the underlying cause and bringing healing to ourselves.
When I read the line ‘I chewed all the way through my school years.’ I got the image like you were chewing your nails like we would do with chewing gum. Truly choosing to eat yourself is quite extreme and yet we find it normal that some children but also adults bite their nails which it is definitely not.
Do we consider that the reason for such anxiety being displayed through the activity of nail biting developed as children is due to the fact that we have clocked that the world we live in is not a Soulful reflection of who we are, and we begin to feel at a loss as to how are we to be in this world, as there are not many who offer the reflection of living who we are in connection to our essence is natural? I realised this was the case for me and nail biting was one way that I learned coped with the tension of disconnecting from my essence.
Me too Carola and thus reflections such as Sue’s are desperately needed in our current world where so many children are developing mental health issues earlier and earlier.
Have we replaced biting our nails with cutting ourselves? This too is an extreme way to relieve our bodies of the nervous tension that builds up within us as we feel unable to express what is truly going on. We are naturally very sensitive human-beings and we are constantly being asked to toughen up which goes against our very nature.
Having been a nail-nibbler my whole life I can relate to much of what you share here Sue. It says a lot about the world we have created when it becomes far easier to ‘eat ourselves’ than to love ourselves. Such anger masks a deep grief that comes from not living true to the love that we are.
Richard what you say is interesting because is it possible we do know there is another way to live far removed from the dog eat dog world we live in and are totally stressed by. It wasn’t until I met Serge Benhayon that I discovered the possibilities of living this different way. To be given another option or a different possibility that it is possible to re-learn how to love ourselves and in the re-learning all those self abusive ways just fall away because nothing can stand in the way of the solid unifying love that is the universe. Reconnect back to ourselves and allow the universe to flow through us then we will remember who we are and where we come from.
Self-love is so powerful, I was never taught this until I came to Universal Medicine and I started to understand what self-love means and saw examples of people truly living with deep self-love. This was incredible and I was inspired to embrace this amazing way of life. Also, through self-love I am able to expose abuse and no longer accept it as normal or something to tolerate. Deepening our self-love empowers us to say no to abuse. If everyone on this planet embraced self-love as taught by Universal Medicine, abuse would fade away and love would simply flourish.
Yes learning to love ourselves certainly exposes the abuse. I found as I deepened my love for myself the long held habit just fell away. Like a miracle after years of ‘trying’ to stop.
chanly88 I would say that self love is the most powerful medicine on earth as taught by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. I am discovering that to truly embrace ourselves and return to that inner connection that we all have is the only way out of this mess we have all had a hand in creating.
When we do something gently rather than roughly the body rejoices.
Self love is a deepening of our loving movements towards self and it is through commitment with consistency we live love that inspires and offers a reflection for another or others to choose the same; it is through living self love we only then truly love another.
There are many things in life, on many levels from personal to societal, we could do without and what we have always done is just try fixing and eradicating the ‘problem’ and not really try to understand the root cause and it has not worked. This way of looking at life from the esoteric perspective, knowing who we truly are, and seeing healing as re-turning, is so much needed in the world right now.
The only kind of discipline that works is loving discipline, which can only be achieved if we truly understand why we had the pattern/addiction in the first place.
This is so lovely to read how you did not have to force yourself to stop biting but rather looked at the bigger picture of more self-love. What a joy to read that there is so much more on offer if we broaden our horizon and consider the why behind the what.
This is so simple it shows us what our connection to True Love will do, which is when we are able to re-connect to our Essences, Inner-Most, Esoteric or Soul all one and the same.
So much drops away when we bring love to it. I used to pick at my face a lot unconsciously even when driving the car and I disliked seeing it but I never gave my skin a moment to heal but once I started to like myself then love myself I stopped doing it without even realising. After I realised, that the picking at my face was the constant picking and criticizing myself.
Aimee what I am learning from listening to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and the Ageless Wisdom teachings is that we do not think, energy passes through us from a pool of energy either pranic or soul. Most of us are fed energy from the pranic source which means we are saturating ourselves with negative energy which is where all those thoughts of not good enough, stupid, worthlessness come from which we believe because we ‘think’ they are our thoughts. To actually stop and give ourselves time to reconsider what energy we are choosing will be life changing. When we rediscover how to truly love ourselves then those negative thoughts just melt away as they are not able to withstand the power of true love.
To let go of old habits we need to want to do it and part of that is seeing through the reason why we developed the habit in the first place. That allows us to get honest and honestly allows us to observe, which then brings understanding which opens us up to change.
And Love also changes our movements by putting a spring in our step that brings a rhythm and flow to our lives in the most Loving Harmonious ways, which brings us back to our connection or re-connection with God, our essence that has always been within is then divinely felt.
There is a big difference between letting something go that no longer serves, and trying to force ourselves to give something up!
When we look just at nail biting we blind ourselves to see what makes us draw to do that.. that is mostly important, to actually feel why we do that and what energy makes us doing that most importantly. Is that from the love that we are, or the lovelessness (and so, abuse)?
The more self-love we build in our bodies the more preciousness we reconnect to and hence naturally honouring our body instead of abusing it; that´s a process we all need to make at some point in time as part of our return back to the love that we innately are.
The steps whether fast or slow always bring us back to a deepened appreciation of how far we have come.
Self-love is not something we commonly hear about in society and if we do it is the reduced version that is about outer appearances laced with recognition. The self-love you are talking about here has the potential to change the world because, for anyone who truly embraces self-love, they are able to transform their lives to one of deep love and honouring of their body that leaves no room for abuse.
A seemingly tiny thing as the nails telling a huge story about how we cope with life and then learn how to live life in full again. Nothing is too petty to not learn something from it.
We can learn so much when we look with loving eyes and an open heart. All our movements choices and behaviours communicate everything to us and to the rest of the world. There is never anything that is not communicated and therefore no way of hiding when start to read the energy being our every interaction and movement. Everything is here for us to learn and grow.
The YES to something much bigger, lets patterns naturally drop, as we are saying YES to the grandness instead of focusing on what stops us from this.
To bite nails is a direct attack on ourselves. You can feel it when you see someone biting.
When i see someone doing so I mostly go to them and have a talk, be with them being interested what is going that makes them attacking themselves.
I see an anxiousness in other people when they are biting their nails. They are not present in their body in any way shape or form. You can see how thoughts are “eating them up” and the nervous tension that is called into the body. What an insult to the body, that natural state of being is stillness.
It’s actually quite amazing that we can stop a behaviour without any effort, but through being loving to ourselves. That happened to me and my nails too. In fact I knew the moment that I stopped chewing them. My need had simply stopped.
Using discipline may stop a behaviour on the outside, but it does nothing to address the cause or the origin of the behaviour. It will surely raise its head again.
When you talk about letting your fingers drop when you showed people your engagement/wedding rings due to the shame you carried about your nails, I was struck by how many subtle ways (and the not so subtle) that we alter our bodies due to a belief system. For example, if we feel a bit shy we might hunch our shoulders and make ourselves look a bit smaller so no one really notices us. Fascinating exercise to tune into to see what we do to ourselves due to an ideal or picture or belief system.
True, our body can show what’s going on for us emotionally. Changing those emotions can result in a change in the body, without any trying. Doing it the other way, by changing the habits, doesn’t necessarily deal with the underlying emotion, which can pop up again showing a different bodily habit.
“I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause.” How often do we just look at the actual problem and address that without investigating further what’s actually creating it. It’s like only looking at the branches of a tree without considering it’s trunk and roots, for a problem to be properly addressed we need to look at every part of it, not just how it physically manifests in our lives.
A great analogy Meg – love it! if we don’t care for the roots of any plant it will wither and die. When we nurture the roots – give them the right soil and conditions in which to grow – the plant flourishes.
And a plant only survives when you care for it regularly, according and in regard to any kind of weather. Do we do that with our body?
I like the way an issue can not really be an issue but merely a behavioural habit that goes away of its own accord when genuine self-love is brought in to how one lives. This to me is the magic and pure gold of life that is there all the time.
Treating the symptoms and not the cause is like being on a treadmill going through the motions but getting nowhere – you really have to get to the root cause to heal anything properly.
Building a body of love heals any want to harm ourselves – then it simply does not occur to us.
Great article Sue. Wondering if this self-love recipe also works on nose picking? There is good reason I am still doing that, and it feels that this has to with anxiousness, not feeling equipped with all tension I am facing.
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.
It is great to hear how you turned your life around Sue, and that it was not willpower but self love that enabled you to naturally stop biting your nails.
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.
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.
Absolutely Elizabeth – in being with love there is no room for abuse, it simply cannot exist.
As your self-love grew, so did your nails. No coincidence there 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, absolutely – the more self loving acts we bring to ourselves the more what is not loving naturally falls away.
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.