I received a comment on my post yesterday that got me thinking about how I have yet still to really consider who I am within my nail biting. I get that the actual nail biting isn't the source of the problem, and that's part of why my initial attempt on Day 14-16 didn't hold up. I was working within a reaction toward what I could directly see as "the problem,' which was that I was allowing my nail biting. I wasn't considering the layers behind it.
The point brought up in the comment by She who yesterday was working with the self-judgement that ensues from my nail biting. Indeed this is a layer of reaction that I need to let go of an stop participating in. While I was reflecting on that, biting my thumbnail and chatting with a friend online, I made an insightful connection between that self-judgement layer and a deeper layer of self-judgement. The relationship isn't clear, but I noticed that went I sent a text message to my friend online, I would be thinking about how it comes off to him, essentially worrying how he will react to my message. "Did it make sense?" was my most prominent concern. "Was it funny/witty?" "Would he respond favorably because of what I said?" Basically any thought pertaining to the successful continuance of a "good" conversation.
So, on the more apparent reaction layer of self-judgement, I have been getting lost in it and only seeing my nail biting habit through that layer. And within this connection of that layer and the deeper layer, I see that through really applying the concept of "who I am within it," my starting point of nail biting that is of anxiety (or at least one of the more common ones) is that fear of not being able to fit it with my word choice in a conversation. Nice, this is really opening up now.
Self-judgement on the deeper level has become an automated response to particular scenarios related to uncertainty of how others react to me. This indicates and confirms how much I have defined myself outside of myself, through others. I have placed much importance on how others react to me...maybe because I have been hurt in my childhood from receiving negative feedback to my natural self-expression. Even that hurt was caused because I placed an emphasis on how others think of me...at this point I'm feeling like I'm getting ahead of myself and getting too deep too fast.
Reeling it back a little: my automated response of self-judgement is the layer behind the automated response of nail biting. So, somewhere along the way, I have decided that I can hide my worry/self-doubt behind my nail biting....maybe nail biting was my coping mechanism as a form of distraction from my internal worry about how others perceive my expression. I don't like to see how I've separated myself in this way because it's an act of self-distrust. Boom, so that could be the source of the pain. Okay going deep again, bear with me.
I didn't trust myself to be confident within my expression, and that pain point was self-inflicted. Now I'm thinking that through childhood ridicule, I projected that self-inflicted pain. Others were just exploiting the weakness that I brought onto myself to show me who I have become. This could even be how/why I began emphasizing my externalized self-definition. Self-distrust snowballs. Writing and self-forgiveness are going to be how I make sense of this nail biting habit and release the automated programs of self-judgement.
I commit myself to walking through the difficult self-honest, self-exposure required to become really intimate with myself and really know myself and really change myself. Thank you for reading.