~ St. John Climacus
It is not despondency but eager expectation; it is not to feel that one has reached an impasse, but to take the way out. It is not self-hatred but the affirmation of my true self as made in God’s image. To repent is to look, not downward at my own shortcomings, but upward at God’s love; not backward with self-reproach, but forward with trustfulness. It is to see, not what I have failed to be, but what by the grace of Christ I can yet become.
~ Bishop Kallistos Ware
From Ware’s, The Inner Kingdom, an excellent guide for dispelling the, frankly, hateful connotations of repentance in the West. Bishop Ware’s deep warmth and wisdom makes his books instrumental, and very accessible, guides to the Orthodox faith.