The highest level of repentance lies beyond the correction of sinful deeds and the creation of independent, new patterns that counterweigh past sins and injuries.
It is reached when the change and the correction penetrate the very essence of the sins once committed and, as the sages say, create the condition in which a man's transgressions become his merits.
This level of tikun is reached when a person draws from his failings not only the ability to do good, but the power to fall again and again and, notwithstanding, to transform more extensive and important segments of life.
It is using the knowledge of the sin of the past and transforming it into such an extraordinary thirst for good that it becomes a Divine force.
The more a man was sunken in evil, the more eager he becomes for good.
This level of being, in which failings no longer exert a negative influence on the penitent, in which they no longer reduce his stature or sap his strength but serve to raise him, to stimulate his progress—this is the condition of genuine tikkun.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "Teshuvah" in The Strife of the Spirit by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz