Updated: Jun 27, 2021
2011, home office
I walked into the office and sat in front of my computer. My desk was clean and neat.
Samuel was already there. I don't know when he stopped working last night. He had to wait until everyone was offline to run the database for billing. Beginning of the month was always the most stressful time for us.
Samuel’s U-shape executive desk was right next to mine and messy as usual. We had identical desks but the surfaces were polar opposites. His things were spread out, covering every inch of his desk like something had just blown up. How could he work like this? If we weren't married, I would fire him. It is useless to talk to him about organizing. I had tolerated it for 10 years.
I stared at my screen. I just answered all my emails last night but there were already a dozen new ones unread. It was barely 8:00 a.m.
“Serena’s sock has a hole.” Samuel told me.
“What?” I looked away from the computer.
“Serena needs a pair of new socks.”
“Why do I have to take care of everything?” I pushed away from the desk and stood up. I raised my voice. “The company, the kids, the house, what's the big deal of a hole?”
“Why are you mad?” Samuel frowned.
“How much more do you want?” I started to scream. In that instant, I completely forgot all the help I had at home from my parents and my husband. I felt like a cow being milked empty and nothing left to give. All I heard was, You are not a good mom! All you care about is work. My heart was pounding and my voice quivering. I admit I can be a workaholic but what alternative do I have?!
I stormed out, slammed the door and stomped to my bedroom. Then I climbed in bed and sobbed. After a few minutes of hard crying, I felt some release. I couldn’t afford to cry long, I still had emails to respond to and a business to take care of. So I got up.
That night, In our big king size bed, I felt lonely. I rolled to the far right side and curled in a ball as tears streamed down my cheeks. Samuel tried to comfort me. When he touched my shoulder gently, “Baby, it's ok," I pushed his hand away. I wish he continued to reach out but he slowly withdrew.
For the next few days, I gave him the cold shoulder. He stopped trying to please me. He probably knew it was useless when I was in one of those moods. All he could do was to wait.
On the surface, I pretended I was fine. We never fought in front of others: everything was hidden behind closed doors. But Samuel is my closest friend in the world. When we had these kinds of fights, living became meaningless. I knew I was in a dark hole, but I just didn’t know how to get out.
My first UPW transformed my life in the most profound way. I didn’t know a seminar could get me so emotional. When Tony asked us to write down our biggest fear in life, I sobbed so hard as I wrote:
My biggest fear is Samuel dying. We have been married for twenty years. If he dies, my whole world will end. I will just kill myself if we didn't have the kids. But now I am a mom. I have to stay behind and take care of the two little ones. If he dies, I have to endure endless suffering. -- 2012, San Jose, CA, UPW (Unleash Your Power Within) Seminar
When I released my darkest secret, I felt like a brand new person. I no longer felt lonely in the world. I called Samuel as soon as the seminar ended. “Honey, I don’t want anything else for my birthday. Would you please just go to Tony’s UPW? He is coming to Orlando on my birthday!” I was so excited on the phone and I wanted him to experience what I just experienced. I am a Firewalker!!
November 3, 2012 -- Day 3 of UPW
“Good morning.” Samuel was on his elbow. He leaned in and gave me a gentle kiss as I opened my eyes. The sun was coming through the window and there was a sparkle in his eyes. He reached under his pillow, pulled out a big white envelope and handed it to me. “Happy Birthday, babe.”
The words ‘Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership’ flashed before my eyes. “What?” I screamed with excitement, fully awake. “I can’t believe you did this! It is for both of us?" I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him back. I had been hoping he might get Mastery University tickets for us, but Platinum? It’s so expensive!
But after the initial excitement, reality settled in. “I can’t go," I said, "I can’t leave the kids to go travel. You go.” I tried to squeeze out a smile.
“I only want to join if I can do it with you. Why don’t you come and meet Tony at the ‘plat meet’ tonight, then decide? We have 24 hours to cancel if you really don’t want to do it.”
It was close to midnight when 20 of us waited backstage for Tony. We all had a lot in common as most were business owners and a few even had young children at home.
As we were getting to know each other, someone announced, “They're here!”
I had only seen Tony on stage before and he was known for his massive size and energy. In person, he appeared even taller. His wife Sage had a navy blue shawl draped around her shoulders and blond hair. I was drawn to Sage’s energy from the beginning. She seemed really comfortable in her skin.
“Today is my birthday and you are my birthday gift.” I told Tony. With a black baseball hat, he looked and laughed like a joyful kid.
Meeting and talking with them just sealed the deal for me. “The planet is our playground and love is our legacy.” That is the motto of the Platinum Partners. I belong here. I will figure out a way. I told myself.
The next day, I told the kids. “Mom and Dad are going to university. Just like you go to school to learn. We are going to learn too.”
So what saved our marriage? The magical word is GROW. Better yet, Grow TOGETHER.