Narrated Ibn Mas’ud:
A man kissed a woman (unlawfully) and then went to the Prophet and informed him. Allah revealed:
And offer prayers perfectly at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night (i.e. the five compulsory prayers). Verily! good deeds remove (annul) the evil deeds (small sins) (11.114). The man asked Allah’s Apostle, “Is it for me?” He said, “It is for all my followers.”
Lately you’ve been feeling this burden on your chest. This sin that you committed, knowingly or unknowingly. You crossed your limits. You disobeyed your Lord. Now you want your way back. A way to somehow press ‘delete’ on your past. You want to share the burden and feel lightened. But you can’t. You can’t tell anyone. No one would understand.
Stop right there! There is someone. The one who’s been there all along. The one who understands you and your circumstances. The one who’s been hiding your sin from others. The one who always listens. He’s waiting for you to come back. He’s waiting for your repentance. A sincere one. Just do it.
Repentance is such a blessing. It automatically removes your burden. But what after that? What’s the guarantee that you won’t slip again? You did it once, you might do it again. If you fear yourself, ask Allah to keep you strong. And carry on.
To feel better, pray. To increase your strength, do more good deeds. For verily, good deeds remove the evil ones.
And remember, there’s no way of knowing (for sure) if your repentance was accepted or not. But that’s the good thing about it. A believer is always somewhere in between fear and hope. The fear that Allah won’t forgive him, and the hope that He’s the Oft-Forgiving, that He shall forgive him.
Allah is the always Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving (not Always-Forgiving).