Victory over a mindless habit

Nothing had stopped the nail biting for more than six months.

It kept happening—I couldn’t seem to stop biting my fingernails. However, frustrated at the mindlessness of this behavior, I so wanted to find an answer. Over a period of 35 years, I had tried many different supposed remedies for this habit, including painting on awful-tasting nail polish, sitting on my hands, and wearing gloves, and had spent thousands of dollars on acrylic nails. But nothing had stopped the problem for more than six months. In my adult years, the habit had even twice damaged one of my teeth. Most often, I was gnawing on my fingernails without knowing I was doing so. And I was very aware that the pull to bite them was especially pronounced during times of anxiety.

I have been a Christian Scientist my whole life, and I have experienced other healings. So why had I allowed this pattern of behavior to plague me for so long without putting up a better fight—in other words, without taking a stronger spiritual stand in my thought? I know that a problem is never really what it appears to be on the surface. For me, it was never actually about healing a habit or anxiety but about letting go of an insidious belief that I have a mind separate from God and can act in ways outside of God’s control. I knew that God made each one of us spiritual, and that therefore I and all others can truly express only divine Mind, God.

More than a year ago, this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy stood out to me as I was reading that week’s Bible Lesson, found in the Christian Science Quarterly, on the subject “Mind”: “Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony” (p. 324). All those decades of nail biting were surely a false landmark, and I sat down the next day and wrote out a metaphysical treatment affirming the truth of God and His creation and refuting mindlessness.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Forward, gracefully
June 7, 2021

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.