Rosh Hashana, the time where Hashem calls upon us to communally do Teshuva! This Rosh Hashana we can all do complete Teshuva!! But how do we do complete Teshuva??

There are three steps to complete Teshuva;
1. Confession
2. Regret
3. Resolution to change

Lets look at it step by step!

1. Confession

It takes a real man to be able to confess that he has done wrong! But once this step has been achieved he has done the hard work! Confession to G-d of all our wrongdoings is where Teshuva starts. The purpose of this confession is not to tell G-d something that He doesn't know. It is to help us regain our identity, by seeing ourselves as we are, and asking G-d to help us heal the damage we have done to ourselves. We can't erase the imprint of our choices, but G-d created teshuva even before He created the world. It is the one creation that is not locked into the rule that "time only flows in one direction." When we do teshuva HONESTLY, G-d reverses time and opens doors that we may have locked years ago, erasing the negative impact of our choices.

2. Regret

The second step is regret, which entails a disassociation with negative patterns to the point where they are demystified and repugnant. Regret can mean feeling bad for your actions but guilt alone is not regret! Regret and guilt are not the same thing. Guilt creates paralysis. Regret creates redefinition. Guilt is passive - e.g. I can't deal with this right now. I think I'll eat chocolate and go to sleep. Regret is active. Regret leads to release from the prison of self-limiting behavior. Guilt goes nowhere, and is so unpleasant that we tend to blame anyone available - just to liberate ourselves from its violent grip on our souls.

3. Resolution to change

Targets! Make ourselves set practices that will help us change! This means making changes within you that are so real that the old patterns will slowly fade. An exampole could be: you ask any ba'al Teshuva if they want to go clubbing?? there is no question an honest ba'al teshuva will say no where as maybe only a year ago he would have said yes! This is what it means to make changes that are concrete changes and are realistic changes that will change you to a point that looking back you would never want to admit that you were once the person you were!! Eventually the day will come when old choices are just plain unappealing.
These three steps are what complete Teshuva is all about! Hashem wants from us complete teshuva as a community once a year but personally you can do this everyday or every time you feel you have done something you know to be wrong!

This Rosh Hashana wipe your slate clean and you can start the new year as a completely new person!

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