A family image is a mental picture of our family. It might be a tree, or a pond of frogs, or a spider web...or anything else your mind can conjure up!
How we think of our family impacts how we communicate. If we see our family as total chaos, we will communicate in a chaotic way. Different family members may have different images. Can you see how this would lead to miscommunication? If I see my family as a Zen garden and my mom sees it as the military, we will both communicate in a way that the other does not understand or relate to.
Most of us have this image, though sometimes it takes a while to make sense of it. I never thought about this until I was an adult, so I have two: one for my family of origin and one for my current, grown up family. To get you thinking, I'll share my image for my family of origin:
Growing up our family was like a garden. It took a lot of work to yield good fruit. The weeds (negativity) took over frequently. Some plants (siblings) demanded more sunlight and watering (parental attention) than others. Overall, though, now that the garden is mature, I see that it is quite beautiful and has produced amazing fruits.
So, what's your family image? Feel free to share it here!