Sometimes people have a negative reaction to “repentance” or “asking for forgiveness.”
For some people, the idea of repentance can feel heavy and loaded with a lot of shame and guilt. The problem is, few people really understand what it REALLY means.
Here are 3 new meanings for you to consider:
One thing that helped me with this was to understand that the Arabic word tawba, usually translated as “repentance,” literally means “return.” So when we “repent,” and seek forgiveness, we are actually returning to Divine Love and returning back to the original pure, holy, loving essence of our own nature that is a reflection of Divine Love.
In the Bible’s Greek New Testament the word that is translated as repentance is metanoia, which means to “rethink” or “a change of mind.” So when we are invited to repentance, we are really being invited to re-think our mistakes and return to our original state of wholeness and unity with our Creator and our fellow creatures.
Islam offers some very beautiful and hopeful teachings about forgiveness. The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said “The repentant one is as one without sin; for repentance erases what happened before it.” What a beautiful thought. What would it be like if your slate was wiped clean, all your mistakes completely erased, and all the negative repercussions evaporated?
What would your life be like if all of your mistakes were actually transformed into good deeds? In other words, once you repent and return to love, instead of the results of your mistakes harming you and other people, they would actually bless you and others! This is what I mean by how freeing repentance can be.