Mom, why did you bite your fingernails?

For as long as I can remember my mom bit her nails. And I always wondered why. She used to tell me it was “just a habit.”

My mother was a woman of strong faith, having been raised in a devoutly Christian home. She was also a deep thinker, earnest student, and hard worker. Mom’s parents never argued in front of their children either. So, what caused my mom to feel inferior (which can be a cause for such types of habits)?

As an aside: I picked up the habit from my mom and bit my nails for over 20 years. I had low self esteem as a teen, and often thought I had an inferiority complex!

Asking the question

Now, in my fifties, one morning (three years after my mom’s death), I sat in meditation and silently asked, “Mom, why did you bite your nails?”

The answer: “It was a way of hiding.”

And I got an image of how one hides a smile behind a hand, and when a man twists his mustache hair. I never had the thought before that one can hide behind their hand while biting one’s fingernails.

Hmmm, hiding? Hiding from what? I quickly retorted in thought.

Almost as soon as the first answer came, the second came. Hiding her soul.

How does one hide their soul?

Then, I was on a quest.

Why and how do we hide our soul? And is this a fight with our inner-being?

Are we reserved in behavior because we are afraid to let our innermost thoughts out?

Do we feel we will be judged?

Why would my mom have felt she would be judged? As especially in her youth, when presumably her nail biting started, she would have had no reason to fear judgment.

But, my mom was painfully shy. Always preferring to stay in the background. My mom preferred solitude to group gatherings—unless the gathering was in church (but even there, she didn’t like the spotlight).

Do we question our power?

One of the only times I saw my mom speak publicly, was when the church congregation was asked to share an individual testimony (of God showed up or intervened in their life).

I would listen to my mom’s personal testimony with awe, each and every time. And I had often wished my dad could have been there, at the prayer meeting, to hear mom’s words. Mom spoke with a gentle tone, but at the same time, a commanding authority. To me, this meant mom was speaking from a profound knowing. From a place of truth.

Are we afraid we can’t live up to the expectation of our soul?

As I searched the Internet on the subject of our soul, I found a series of quotes by author, Parker J. Palm. One of his quotes that caught my attention follows:

Parker J. Palm quote

As soon as I read Parkers quote, I realized he had also touched on the soul phrase given to me in the early 2000s that set me on my Awakening journey. The phrase, which became my mantra, We Are All Connected.

In summary

So far, the way I commune with my soul, and share what I find, (that aligns with the lessons I have learned by sitting with these questions), is the way I speak and share about the mantra, We Are All Connected. We Are Not Alone. And that we are more powerful than we can imagine.

Community means never losing the awareness that We Are All Connected.

Whether we feel less than, insecure, are shy, fearful, or that we may not express our truth in a clear way, we CAN speak and share from our soul, from our innermost truth. We simply need a courageous push or willingness to do so.

Perhaps we are old souls. But that is a question for another meditation. OM

About me

I have a passion for WORDS and Connecting people. In particular, I love speaking and writing about spiritual and consciousness raising topics, holistic wellness and simple healthy living. I am empathic, intuitive, compassionate, and kind, with a keen and unified wisdom about life.

I’m an Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon. Plus, I’ve written a health book (in the making for 13 years), Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, that’s available here.

Observations about the author

Conversations surrounding emotional balance, moral ambiguities, and deep spiritual truths (such as We Are All Connected, and Put Your Hands Together When You Pray), are what Sheila is most passionate about. She feels a profound empathic Connection with people and what they’re going through by merely sharing her own truth, by speaking freely about her personal struggles and the challenges she continues to overcome. Sheila strives to ease lonelines, help those exiting toxic relationships, and to remind us all that we are stronger than we think we are, and that Everything Resolves to Gratitude in the end.

Let us serve you

My husband is an award-winning illustrator, plus he is a seasoned guitarist, bass player, and songwriter (of over 400 original songs). You can view some of his artwork and listen to all of his songs at:

Here’s us:

Be the person your soul beckons you to be and let us promote you!

Here’s us:

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

22 thoughts on “Mom, why did you bite your fingernails?

  1. Oh, this is brilliant and so interesting Sheila! Thank you for sharing! I had never considered this before but as a previous nail biter I certainly see your point. It is indeed a way of hiding, of making oneself small. One behaviour in a pattern of many that makes up a person who isn’t fully confident or self assured. It’s a pretty casual thing to do and something you may barely notice if it’s become habit or you’re particularly stressed or anxious. It can be a momentary relief but psychology would say it’s indicative of something much deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have often thought I might offer a masterclass on overcoming nail biting, but wasn’t sure how many people have that particular issue. I love your observation that it’s a casual thing to do, but apparently if one does it around the same person often, eventually they notice and it drives them nuts! LOL


  2. I do a lot of nail biting, I have been doing this since I can remember, my daughter has also inherited the habit. So I relate.
    So if not my nails, I pull or twist my beard or hair. I cannot explain it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. I quit biting my nails over 20 years ago, but the urge is still there, and I pick my cuticles. It drives people around me nuts (yes, they’ve noticed!). One time, I was seated next to my boss for a meeting. I was picking my cuticles under the table. But when we stood up to leave, he leaned over my way and asked me if I could do my grooming at home! I was sooo embarrassed!! So much so, I remember that as if it was yesterday! And that happened over 20 years ago! 🤷🏼🤦😭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really hard, I have tried but failed. I just can’t sit still, for as long as I am subjected to pay attention my nails, hair and beard will also have my attention unintentionally.


  3. I used to bite my nails from age of 8 to age of 15 just after that from 2 years I resisted myself from doing that with great difficulty! But till now I’m now able to resist my habit of biting any random stuffs like pen remote kerchief what not.. My parents always get mad at me when I do it. But still it’s too difficult for me to leave it! I can relate to ur post so much.. ~♥~

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know right. I used to know a friend who punched her arm quite often, just like biting fingernails; it was her habit. I later got to learn from her after I had asked, that the pain from pinching herself is what she focuses on to prevent herself from smiling or laughing. It baffled me why a person wouldn’t wanna smile or laugh, then she narrated a deep aspect of her early life that had led to that. It broke my heart

      I can relate to this post because of that. My friend is doing well now though

      Liked by 4 people

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