Shell asks: “I thought that staring into the abyss was supposed to help, but nothing was stares back but a shallow reflection. Whose shadows am I chasing?”
The Universal Waite answers: 7 of Cups.
Whatever shadows distract you sufficiently that you do not face the greater issue you keep turning your back on. You are effectively chasing yourself and viewing usually minor issues as major sources of drama and/or pain. The same “mirror” that is staring back at you is also pointing the way to the resolution. What are you turning your back on? What is behind you that is too emotionally/intellectually painful to face without distorting it into a trope that you tell yourself you know how to handle? You are correct that you are chasing a shadow, but the question is not whose shadow (it’s yours), the question is what is casting the light to create it? It will be hard to face what is truly bothering you. Go little by little if you must, but face it. Good luck and strength to you.