Here is the Greek word that has been translated as repent and it's meaning:
From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.
And from the 1828 Webster Dictionary (I use this dictionary to get closer to the meaning of the English word when it was translated for the King James translation):
REPENT', v.i. [L. re and paeniteo, from paena, pain. Gr. See Paint.]
1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.
2. To express sorrow for something past.
Enobarbus did before thy face repent.
3. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.
Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return. Exo 13.
4. Applied to the Supreme Being, to change the course of providential dealings. Gen 6. Psa 106.
5. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God's holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13. Acts 3.
One of the first things you will notice in these definitions is the necessity of feeling pain or sorrow and from the Greek definition that it is an act of thought or reason. In other words repentance is the understanding of wrongdoing not just at the level of thought but at the level of emotions as well; heart and mind agreed that the action, feeling or thought was wrong. A groveling "I am sorry" doesn't fit the bill. What does is a heartfelt deep understanding of the wrong and harm the action or thought caused.
Something else to be aware of is; "A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.".
If for one second I say to myself or someone else, "but if so and so didn't do such and such then I wouldn't have done what I did" then I have not repented, I like Adam in the garden am blaming someone else for my wrongdoing. You may feel truly sad about what you have done but, you have not yet accepted responsibility for for what you did. This is one of my greatest challenges, it is sooo easy to blame others and it is not as humiliating. Wich is the whole point, true repentance should lead us to a greater understanding of how I am nothing good without God.
True repentance also comes with action, especially if someone else is hurt or harmed. That action is what we call amends.
I find in myself, (when I have had wrong thoughts or feelings that go contrary to God's Law), a kind of tongue and check repentance towards God. I am really disturbed by this because I realize that this says something very negative about my relationship with God. It says that I don't have a true sense of Gods realness, that when I break His Laws and don't hurt another human being, I can be flippant about it because I didn't hurt anyone. But, I did hurt someone, I hurt God. God does have feelings and expectations for his creatures, just like I do of my children.
After writing that last paragraph I became so convicted that I nearly came to tears, I stopped and prayed, asking the Fathers forgivness and for the help to change that part in me that keeps a formal distance between God and I. I will be practicing the presence of God from this moment forward and pray that He will strengthen our bond.
And I will pray this for you too.
Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
PS if you would like a copy of the 10 Commandment Inventory I created you can click on the picture above, scroll to the bottom of the page and download it for free. Thank-you for reading and may God bless you and Yours.