I read a book on dream interpretation years ago. The one thing that stuck with me was the idea of reducing the dream to a simple story line to get at the meaning and relevance to your life. This is sort of the opposite of those symbology books -- "if you dream about water you're dreaming about SEX!!!!" -- and I've found it to be a more useful method of interpreting my own dreams.
Last night I dreamed I was in my living room, and I was trying to clean it up for my friend Rakie, who's coming to visit in a week. But I felt like I couldn't even begin because a bunch of big stuff (furniture, clothes, random stuff) that belonged to other people in my family was all over the place. We've each recently moved. In the dream, I guess they'd all chosen to store some items with me and now I felt like I couldn't ask them to come get them.
As I was getting out of the shower a few minutes ago I decided to reduce this dream to a simple story line:
I felt unable to make a space for myself in my own safe place, because other people had deposited their own crap in it. I felt like I had to wait for them to come and take it back before I could make the place my own.
Since moving into my own apartment (and one that I actually like!), I've been loving having my own haven, and dealing with a lot of psychological shell-shock that I think is an aftermath of not having one for years.
In a less physical and more emotional/mental way, this has been a theme in my life as well lately. Identifying thoughts, feelings, ideas, that are my own and separating them out and honoring them. Gently sweeping out the crap that has cluttered up my psyche and my self that is not actually mine -- but just something someone else deposited there.
Often at the end of relationships I've felt I couldn't have closure because I could never make the person understand the sort of pain they had caused me. Because they had caused it, I felt like I couldn't heal unless they understood what they had done. Sort of a "you made this mess and only you can clean it up" mentality. Valid but not particularly useful for me. Obviously no one is going to come back into my life with a broom and dustpan and be all like "Hey, sorry I messed up your entire brain by treating you in this bogus way. Why don't you take yourself out for a nice massage while I clean up in here?"
So I've been doing some self-cleaning, like an oven (or a vagina!). It's been working out for me.