Words carry power of intent and thus create our own reality. They evoke certain feelings and images, they evoke certain energies that we take in. Therefore:
Words that we speak, words that we listen to, words that we ponder, are all meant as healing devices.
Words are also used to convey powerful teachings. Parables, stories, songs, etc. are all used to bypass our logical mind and reach something Higher in us. That's why, for example, Jesus taught in parables. Understanding his saying "let dead bury their dead" or that "God knows even when a sparrow is sold for a penny on the market" can take a lifetime.
The teaching is masked as a parable because most people will find it impossible to change, simply because they won't understand it enough and/or the parable says in the most pithy way. If the teaching were in a more "formal" scholarly form, people would interpret it and change it and it would get lost. Since the parable is astonishingly difficult to interpret and modify, the parable must be told as is, and thus the teaching is preserved.
Parables are hard to interpret and thus are left alone, in their pure, original state. Stories and sayings can be similar too.
Parables, stories and sayings shape our lives. Thus, it is very important to discern who is the source of the words.
Sayings of ordinary people are educational to read because they expose the culture and its values. A lot of it is junk, yet it shapes people's lives. Sayings like: "children have to be seen but not heard" are a brainwashing way to instill abuse as official. It works! Similarly, positive enforcement sayings can do a lot of good for people, giving them good advice as to how to live a productive life, for example: "measure twice, cut once" or "no knowledge without effort."
Sayings of wise people are profound teaching tools. Saying like "when you meet Buddha on the road, kill him" conveys a lot of information. "Love Thy neighbor as Thyself" is a saying that takes a lifetime to master and leads to enlightenment.
Short and long stories usually have many layers of meaning, anything from straight literal physical interpretation all the way to metaphysical and mystical. For example, this simple story can be interpreted in so many ways:
There are two wolves fighting inside me. One is kind and considerate, and the other is mean and nasty. Which one shall win?
The one I feed.
In the most basic interpretation, it is "a zoo-keepers story about which vitamins to give to the right wolf." In the higher view, it is a story of enlightenment and the practice leading to it.
EACH GOOD STORY SHOULD LEAVE YOU PONDERING SOME QUESTIONS. Each good piece of word healing is designed to evoke questions. To open your heart and make you BE IN QUESTION.
So, you want to try to work with healing words?
There are so many ways to work with words:
The most basic way is to just chant OM, or AUM. That combines music and words.
Read some fairy tales and other old, traditional stories, like Esop's fables, or brothers Grim, or Sheherezade, and Native American stories. Those stories are simple stories but they are powerful. For example, the brother Grim story of the girl who had her own simple red shoes made out of rags colored by raspberries, and then a rich woman came and took her away and gave her beautiful leather shoes. That is actually a story of self bertrayal. The girl is us, when we sell ourselves in exchange for something that we think will give us security and happiness. The shoes eventually harm the girl and she has to heal herself. So, the story is about finding oneself and being true to oneself. Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells and explains many such stories. (She wrote "Women who ran with the wolves.") I can also recommend Native American books by Hyemeyohsts Storm and Joseph Bruhac.
Read poems of Rumi and Hafiz. They were sufi mystics who reached a very high state and their poems were used as textbooks by spiritual teachers.
Read stories that Jesus told, and just that. The rest of Bible is typically bologney.
Read Bhagavat Gita and Yogonanda's commentary.
Read Gospels and Yogonanda's commentary.
Read stories by Buddha, sufis, Tibetans, Paramahansa Yogananda.
For some proverbs and sayings, explore the collection of proverbs from my heritage and a few favorite proverbs from all over the world.